Miso Garlic Butter Pasta

Miso Pasta in blue bowl on marble benchtop.

Written by Liz

I’m Liz, I share recipes and easy substitutes to make plant-based living simple!

January 23, 2023

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Indulge in this buttery, Japanese inspired Vegan Miso Spaghetti

Have you ever tried the latest viral food trend on TikTok – miso pasta? This Japanese inspired dish combines the savory, umami flavor of miso paste with a creamy, buttery sauce that is irresistible. Imagine tender spaghetti coated in a rich and silky sauce with hints of garlic, plus a rich cheesey taste from the plant-based parmesan and nutritional yeast. The light miso paste used in this recipe adds a touch of saltiness and depth of flavor, resulting in a unique and mouth-watering dish that will leave you wanting more. The best part? This recipe is not only delicious, but also incredibly easy to make. Plus, the addition of nori sheets on top brings a nice crunchy texture and an extra burst of oceanic flavor to the dish (inspired by Japan’s uni miso pasta). Whether you’re a fan of vegan food or not, this miso garlic butter pasta is a must-try dish.

 

So what is miso paste, and what does it taste like?

Miso paste is a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine and is made from fermented soybeans and rice, or barley. The length of fermentation time determines the type of miso paste – ranging from light to dark, and affecting the flavor and saltiness. In this recipe, we use light miso paste which has a savoury, deep and slightly nutty, cheesey flavour. However, compared to darker or red miso paste, it is quite mild and slightly sweet. Miso paste is high in protein, contains probiotics, and is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties. It is a key ingredient in miso soup and marinades, and can also be used as a condiment or a base for sauces. The production process of miso paste involves steaming the soybeans and rice or barley, then combining it with koji (a type of mold) and salt, and allowing it to ferment for several months to several years, depending on the desired outcome.

 

Is miso paste healthy?

Miso paste is a great source of nutrition and has several health benefits. As a fermented food, it’s rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and help to promote a healthy gut microbiome. These probiotics help to improve digestion, boost immunity, and even enhance mood. Miso paste is also high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against harmful free radicals. Additionally, fermented foods have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body and prevent various health problems. This is why incorporating fermented foods like miso paste into your diet can be a great way to support overall health and well-being.

 

Key Ingredients in this Miso Garlic Butter Pasta

  • Light Miso Paste: Light miso paste is a milder and sweeter version of miso paste, making it the perfect ingredient to add flavor to this vegan miso pasta dish.
  • Plant-based Butter: Used in place of regular butter, plant-based butter is a vegan alternative that provides the rich, creamy flavor in the miso pasta.
  • Garlic: Adds an additional depth of flavor and aroma to the miso pasta.
  • Pasta Water: The starchy water from boiling the pasta is used to create a smooth and creamy miso sauce.
  • Nutritional Yeast: Provides a cheesy, nutty flavor and is a great source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Plant-based Parmesan: A vegan alternative to traditional parmesan cheese, it adds a nutty and salty flavor to the dish.
  • Nori Seaweed Snacks: Used to garnish the dish, nori seaweed provides a crisp texture and an additional burst of umami flavor.

Here’s a shopping list for you:

  • Spaghetti or Pasta of Choice
  • Plant-based Butter
  • Plant-based Parmesan
  • Garlic
  • Light Miso Paste
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Nori Seaweed Snacks

 

How to make Miso Pasta

Here’s a high level step-by-step guide on how to make this simple recipe. You can find the detailed method in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  1. Cook spaghetti to packet instructions. Drain and reserve pasta water.
  2. Make your miso pasta sauce. Pan fry butter and garlic. Then add remaining ingredients and whisk until thickened before stirring in the parmesan cheese.
  3. Toss the spaghetti in the sauce.
  4. Serve and garnish with nori seaweed strips.

Substitutions

  • Pasta: While spaghetti is used in this recipe, you can use any type of pasta you like. Try using fettuccine, linguine, or even ramen noodles.
  • Plant-Based Butter: If you don’t have plant-based butter, you can use olive oil instead. Simply heat the oil in a saucepan and proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • Miso paste: This recipe calls for light miso paste, but you can use any type of miso paste you have on hand. Just keep in mind that the flavor profile will vary. Darker miso paste will result in a saltier and more intense flavor.
  • Nutritional yeast: If you don’t have nutritional yeast, you can add extra parmesan.
  • Nori sheets: the flavour won’t be the same, but sesame seeds would also work well as a garnish.

In conclusion, this miso pasta dish is a delicious, healthy, and easy-to-make meal that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner or a dinner party. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

Miso Pasta in blue bowl on marble benchtop.
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Miso Garlic Pasta