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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Vegetable Pasta with Miso Tahini Sauce.

Let me start by telling you that these photos do absolutely no justice to how delicious this tastes.  I was racing against a setting sun, and I took the extra time to make sure the recipe was just right, rather than making sure I got the perfect photo.  I call this, pasta at twilight.

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But make no mistake that you’ll want to add this to your weekly meal plan immediately. 

Recently, I’ve been trying to work on adding to my collection of sauce recipes.  I love me some marinara, but it’s nice to have other options for pasta here and there.  In case you hadn’t noticed, my new favorite ingredient is miso (more to come on that soon). 

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It comes together with tahini here to make a slightly nutty, and perfectly umami sauce.  Yep, I just used umami.  Blame the miso. 

Vegetable Pasta with Miso Tahini Sauce

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the Pasta
    • 1 pound pasta (I used spaghetti)
    • 1 large red onion, diced
    • 1 pint sliced crimini mushrooms
    • 4 small zucchini, sliced
    • 1 cup loose parsley leaves, minced

    For the Sauce

    • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter)
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (1 clove)
    • 1/4 cup white miso paste
    • 1 tablespoon tahini
    • 1 cup pasta water (reserved)

    Instructions

    Start by heating a large pot of water on the stovetop – bring to a boil for your pasta. Cook your pasta according to package directions.  Mince about 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves and set aside to be used right before serving.

    Slice a large red onion into thin strips, and saute on medium heat until very soft. After the onions have cooked for about five minutes, add the mushrooms and zucchini – cook all vegetables until very soft and browned. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl.

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    In the same sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or butter) and heat over medium low heat until melted. Add garlic and sauté until just browning.

    Add tahini and miso to the pan, and then carefully ladle some pasta water (which should be cooking by now), 1/4 cup at a time into the sauté pan.

    Each time you add water, whisk the sauce together until combined – it will be very thick at first. Continue to add pasta water until you reach just about 1 cup, or your desired consistency. For a thicker sauce, use less (and for thinner, use more).

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    Once your sauce is ready, drain pasta and add to the bowl with the vegetables. Add chopped parsley. Pour sauce on top and toss until well coated.

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    Serve immediately, and enjoy!

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    As much as I love eating healthy, I also love creamy sauces and gigantic comforting bowls of pasta.  This sauce has a rich creaminess, without actually being heavy or unhealthy, so you can go back for seconds (and thirds) without the guilt.  Don’t mind if I do.

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    The pasta is really just a recommendation for a great way to use the sauce, but I can see it being repurposed into so many other dishes – tossed with grains, warm salad dressing, poured over a protein – endless possibilities. 

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    Enjoy!

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    68 Comments so far
    Leave a comment

    Bronwyn     at 8:56 pm

    This sounds and looks AMAZING. I tried something similar a few weeks back, but then I added in nutritional yeast, and it wasn’t a great addition. Gonna try this as soon as I’m home!

    [Reply]

    Eliza     at 8:57 pm

    YUM! this pasta looks so rich and delicious, yet simple. I love any dish that tastes rich without tons of cheese and cream. Gotta buy some Miso ASAP.

    [Reply]

    Amber K     at 9:06 pm

    I have never tried miso; I am going to have to change that sometime!

    [Reply]

    Alayna @ Thyme Bombe     at 9:07 pm

    Miso is one of my very favorite foods. I find myself licking the spoon when I use it and still being surprised every time by the salty but rich flavor. I’ve gotten to the point where I prefer red miso in almost every application except for miso soup. It’s a lot “meatier” and more flavorful than just salty. Definitely trying this recipe so I can have a whole bowl full of rich miso sauciness.

    [Reply]

    Laura @ She Eats Well     at 9:11 pm

    I have never tried to make pasta sauce using miso. I love that idea! And now I am also craving mushrooms…

    [Reply]

    Alison     at 9:25 pm

    Yum! I need to expand the sauces that I use too. This one looks great!

    [Reply]

    Brittany     at 9:38 pm

    Emily, would yellow miso work?

    Looks GREAT!! :)

    [Reply]

    Julie (A Case of the Runs) Reply:

    I think yellow miso is a bit saltier than white… though I only have yellow too, so this makes me sad!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I think yellow would be fine – just a little tangier. :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I think yellow would work – probably just going to be a little saltier. (I love salt, so this is not necessarily a bad thing.)

    [Reply]

    Brittany Reply:

    Thanks, Emily!

    [Reply]

    Jess     at 9:50 pm

    This looks amazing! Miso and tahini are going on the shopping list!

    [Reply]

    Maile     at 10:28 pm

    Oh, wow! Looking forward to trying this…rate-limiting step will be obtaining white miso paste. Pictures are inspiring!

    [Reply]

    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More     at 11:03 pm

    Looks like something I would eat for every meal for days in a row!

    [Reply]

    Danielle     at 11:35 pm

    miso in pasta sounds really interesting! but do you think it would still be good without the tahini?? I really don’t care for that though I know sometimes its needed and maybe cant taste it??

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    The tahini gives it a nutty quality, and thickens the sauce a bit more. You could replace it with a different nut butter, but it will probably change the taste a bit.

    [Reply]

    Lauren     at 3:52 am

    Looks incredible! I’ve never used miso in this form but it sounds fantastic!

    [Reply]

    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey     at 4:27 am

    This looks really great! I don’t have any tahini though, what would you recommend using in place of it?

    [Reply]

    Melissa @ HerGreenLife Reply:

    I’ve seen hummus recipes that sub peanut butter for the tahini. It might give it a slightly different taste, but since it’s only 1 T, I imagine it might work fine here, too!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    You could try sunbutter or peanut butter, but my true recommendation would be to go get some tahini. :) You can make homemade hummus with it too!

    [Reply]

    Alex @ Raw Recovery     at 4:43 am

    I’ve never tried miso in/as a sauce so this sounds like a really interesting recipe!

    [Reply]

    Abby @ Change of Pace     at 5:27 am

    That looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try it…

    [Reply]

    Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 6:24 am

    Thanks for the great sauce suggestion. I always buy a big thing of miso, use it a couple of times, and then forget about it in the fridge. Fortunately, it stays good for quite awhile, but perhaps this recipe will give me a way to go through it more quickly. Yum!

    [Reply]

    Jen     at 6:29 am

    do you think using olive oil in place of earth balance would be ok? or would it sacrifice the flavor? thanks!

    [Reply]

    Jen Reply:

    ps i cannot WAIT for more miso recipes! after your raw kale salad with hemp seed dressing i too am obsessed and have no idea how else to use it… trying not to eat it straight from the tub :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    It may change the flavor a bit, and I’m not sure on the consistency. I would hope it wouldn’t break, but oil is a bit different than EB, especially when heated.

    [Reply]

    Paige     at 6:34 am

    This sounds great, I’ll have to try it! I’m always on the lookout for creamy (easy!) vegan sauces.

    One thing to note, though, is that when you heat miso it kills the healthy, active bacteria (the miso is always stirred in at the very end in traditional miso soup recipes, for this reason). But that doesn’t change the taste!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Very good point! I think for this sauce it is worth it. :)

    [Reply]

    Coco     at 6:41 am

    This looks great Emily! Do you think any miso would work? I have a big tub of red miso already- and it would be awesome to just use that!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I think red would probably be fine too!

    [Reply]

    Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride     at 7:07 am

    I was so excited for this recipe and I’m not disappointed! I’m also excited that it’s simple enough that I know I can make it. Yum!

    [Reply]

    Janelle     at 7:40 am

    I really WANT to like miso… Maybe it’s just the powdered soup I’ve had before that turned me off. I haven’t used the paste. Any thoughts about how I can get myself into it??? :)

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    The paste is so much better!

    [Reply]

    Bridget B.     at 8:26 am

    This looks really good. I am curious though–does the sauce taste like Miso soup? I love Japanese foods, but I have never used miso paste. My fiance is also Japanese so I am interested to see what this might be like for him. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    It’s much creamier than miso soup, but has a similar flavor profile. Somewhat nuttier from the tahini!

    [Reply]

    Samantha     at 8:38 am

    I LOVE tahini for creaminess. And it is great with pastas. This looks fun to try.

    [Reply]

    Natasha     at 9:03 am

    I can’t wait to try this one out! It sounds amazing :-)

    [Reply]

    Heidi from BundlesofHugs     at 9:36 am

    Mmm that looks so good! I can’t wait to try it :)

    [Reply]

    Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie     at 9:55 am

    Ohh I really need to make this! I have been on such a mushroom kick lately!

    [Reply]

    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama     at 10:51 am

    If we didn’t have pasta last night, I would be making this tonight. It’s on the list for next week. I’m loving all the recipes with miso!

    [Reply]

    Becca     at 11:12 am

    This looks amazing! I’m always looking for new dishes to try :) this will definitely be added to the must try list! Yum.

    [Reply]

    Noelle (@singerinkitchen)     at 11:41 am

    Delicious recipe! Easy peasy!

    [Reply]

    FullFlavoredLife     at 11:56 am

    Mushrooms and zucchini are my favorite! I’m excited to try this. Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out     at 3:06 pm

    I’m a big fan of all of your ingredients here. Isn’t Miso Tahini sauce AMAZING?! I love the vegetables you used!

    [Reply]

    Greg     at 4:26 pm

    Looks like another winner, Emily. Can’t wait to try it, but don’t have the ingredients on hand.

    [Reply]

    Ana     at 4:53 pm

    Thanks for the great recipe- just made this for dinner tonight and loved it! I added nutritional yeast to bump up the protein which worked really well with the other flavors. Can’t wait to eat for leftovers!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know!

    [Reply]

    Heidi - Apples Under My Bed     at 12:58 am

    looks so nice and creeeeaaaammmyyyy! But healthy! snap :)
    Heidi xo

    [Reply]

    Heather     at 6:34 am

    I loved this!! I tried it last night and used Mung Bean Pasta and it was phenomenal!! I want to tell everyone about it!! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Mandy Jo     at 8:00 am

    I made this last night with white miso! YUM YUM YUM!!!!!!!! I wanted like 18 bowls of it! thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

    Beth     at 5:53 pm

    Made this tonight, but with mushrooms, red pepper and fresh spinach rather than zucchini because I didn’t have any. It was great! Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

    Jenna     at 7:27 am

    I made this yesterday, was RSUM!

    Couple of issues:
    * Recipe states 1 red onion, diced – but pics and explanation instruct to slice.
    * What do you saute the onions in? I used a small dash of raw olive oil, but recipe does not mention anything.

    Am having surgery on April 19th, so this is being portioned and frozen for quick meals. Just add a salad and VOILA!

    Thank you for the inspired recipe!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    Sorry for the confusion! The onion should be diced – bite sized pieces. I use a nonstick pan, so I don’t need to saute them in anything, but you can use a bit of olive oil! Good luck with your surgery!

    [Reply]

    elizabeth     at 7:57 am

    I’m going to try this. I love miso, especially in salad dressing and soup. The amount of miso, 1/4 cup, seems like a lot, it the pasta super salty?

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    I don’t think it’s too salty at all, but it might depend on your particular miso.

    [Reply]

    Candilea     at 9:10 am

    Made this last night, and it was delicious! I added a little broccoli and decreased the zucchini a bit, but otherwise prepared just as the recipe states, and it was easy and so good! Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    So glad you liked it! Thanks for letting me know. :)

    [Reply]

    Nicole     at 5:05 am

    I am a new reader (Cullen is ADORABLE). Just wanted to let you know I made this pasta last night and it was soooo good! Thanks for a new recipe in our rotation!!

    [Reply]

    lexi     at 3:36 pm

    hey emily!
    i made this a few days ago and omg love it! totally making it again tonight. can’t get enough!

    [Reply]

    Emily Malone Reply:

    whohoooo! glad to hear it! :)

    [Reply]

    elizabeth     at 5:07 pm

    Great sauce! I didn’t have any of the vegetables so I just tossed kamut spiral pasta with the sauce and some arugula.

    [Reply]

    Richa@HobbyandMore     at 8:54 pm

    loving that sauce! yummm

    [Reply]

    Marie-Claude     at 8:00 am

    I really liked your recipe. It was delicious with it’s tangy flavor. I will redo this for sure! Luckily I have some extra for today’s lunch :) Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out     at 3:48 pm

    Oh wow, I made this sauce tonight for some brown rice and lentils. I added 1 TBSP of maple syrup. It was amazeballs.

    http://workingmomworksout.com/brown-rice-lentils-and-zucchini-with-miso-tahini-sauce/

    [Reply]

    Stephanie     at 9:11 am

    I just made this recipe with one tablespoon of nutritional yeast instead of tahini, and it was delicious!

    [Reply]

    Ravyn     at 8:43 am

    Made this last night … it was amazing! I hadn’t cooked with miso or tahini before … two things I had wanted to buy, but didn’t know what I’d do with them! Thanks for sharing!!

    [Reply]

    Carly     at 5:33 pm

    Hi there! I recently discovered this recipe while searching for a vegan, protein-rich topping for pasta. For such a simple recipe that goes together so easily (and with ingredients I always have on hand) it is WONDERFUL! Wow! My preschooler and toddler eat heaps of pasta with this sauce, and my family adoringly calls it “miso mac”. All the satisfaction of alfredo sauce, except more complex and interesting. And *vegan*. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Japanese-inspired spaghetti. | Umami & Me     at 1:45 pm

    [...] For this recipe, I used aka but I mostly use shiro miso in most cooking. Also, feel free to add more vegetables to this, nori for garnish, or add meat. It’s a lovely sauce that I can picture myself using on salads, meats and fish as well. Enjoy it! Miso spaghetti with Swiss chard and tofu (adapted from Daily Garnish) [...]

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