Miso-Butter Spaghetti with Kale
Hybrid food that's comfort food, and a great place for your Seedy Nori Crumble
Combining miso, butter, and Italian-style noodles is nothing new, but I do feel this is the right time of the year for it. To be honest I sometimes struggle with classic Italian pasta treatments, a least as far as making them forwardly flavorful when produce isn’t at its peak. Instead I find myself gravitating towards Asian noodles. Miso paste, gochujang, kimchi, toasted sesame oil, and many more such staples — they can pull a lot of weight when it comes to flavor, one of the many reasons they’re such popular ingredients in vegetarian cooking.
So this is that kind of a hybrid dish — spaghetti, sauced in an Italian method, but getting the bulk of its flavor from miso paste and dried shiitake mushrooms. It’s got all the hallmarks of winter comfort food: rich (butter), hearty (pasta), full of flavor (miso), and doesn’t rely on peak produce to be a stunner (kale, rehydrated shiitake mushrooms). I hope you won’t skip the bit of cheese at the end, and also finish it with a liberal sprinkling of my Seedy Nori Crumble, which adds plenty of extra texture and complements what’s already going on.
Lastly, In making this, I kept thinking back to Hetty McKinnon’s Buttery Miso Vegemite Noodles from To Asia with Love, a recipe I often crave. Vegemite, Australia’s beloved yeasty spread that’s similar (but not the same) to Marmite, gets blended with butter and miso to rich, salty, delicious effect. I was never a fan of Vegemite sandwiches or spread on crackers, but I absolutely love that pasta. So here I couldn’t help myself. If you do happen to have Vegemite on hand, go ahead and add a dab. You won’t regret it.
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