Miso Browned Butter Pasta

This is a simple recipe, but it is incredibly good. It also uses miso paste, which is something I don’t cook with nearly enough. After making and tasting this dish, I vow to remedy this and cook with more miso. It is partially responsible for the culinary buzzword, umami, but for good reason. Umami is a word meant to describe savory, complex, full-bodied flavors, and miso (along with soy sauce, mushrooms, and worcestershire sauce, to name a few) certainly lends that quality to food.

If you haven’t cooked with miso, don’t worry. It is much easier than you think to incorporate into dishes and it’s becoming a lot easier to find in stores too. It ranges from white or yellow miso, which is white to light beige in color, all the way to black miso, the strongest in flavor. White or yellow miso is great for all purpose cooking. It’s great whisked into dressings and marinades, stirred into broth for soup, or folded into butter for topping grilled meats. This recipe uses yellow miso, but a stronger red miso would work just as well and lend a bolder flavor. Start keeping miso on hand in the fridge, and you’ll be surprised at how many uses you’ll find for this delicious paste. Let’s start with this pasta:

Miso Browned Butter Pasta

*Makes Two servings- Can easily be doubled!

4 ounces Spaghetti

3 Tablespoons Butter

1/4 small yellow or red Onion, sliced thinly

2 Tablespoons Miso Paste (Yellow or Red)

1 cup baby Arugula

Cracked Black Pepper

Grated Parmesan

Cook spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until it stops foaming and the solids on the bottom of the pan begin to turn golden brown. The butter should smell nutty and delicious. Add in the onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the miso paste and drizzle a little of the reserved pasta cooking water to make a sauce. You may not need the whole amount, so add just a little at a time until the miso is smooth.

Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to combine, adding a little more pasta cooking water if it seems dry. Add in the arugula and some cracked black pepper to season. Miso is usually salty, so you may not need to add any additional salt. Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve. Delicious!


Inspired by this video by Jen Phanomrat


30 thoughts on “Miso Browned Butter Pasta

  1. This looks so simple yet so delicious! I also love miso, but I hardly use it because I never know what I’d put it in. I think I’ll go pick up some yellow miso and start incorporating it in more dishes 🙂 Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Simply delicious!! This is a great weeknight dinner idea! so easy to make, definitely my kind of meal! 🙂

  3. Yum, this sounds fantastic! I have only ever really used miso in asian inspired dishes, would never have thought to pair it with brown butter and arugula – but this sounds all kinds of amazing!

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