Add Miso Paste To Your Pasta For The Ultimate Umami Kick

Pasta dishes are always filled with luscious, rich flavors, typically a result of the cheese, heavy cream, and butter that's used in them. While these ingredients have never failed pasta, it's not the only thing that gives it more depth. For a delicious umami kick, and much more, add miso paste to your pasta.

A paste made from fermented soybeans, miso is the very definition of umami. It's exceptionally savory, with a slight tangy sweetness that follows each taste. It also has a creamy, thick texture that dissolves into hot liquid when stirred, which is a plus for pasta dishes. Whether you want something entirely new from your noodles or simply want to give them a little savory boost, miso paste brings so much with just a small amount.

Miso paste can be eaten raw, so there's no set time on when you have to add it to your pasta. Add it to cooked pasta in a pan a few minutes before the end of cooking, just like in this miso mushroom pasta recipe. Or, give it time to simmer in garlicky butter before stirring some chicken broth in, as demonstrated in this miso-butter chicken and gnocchi recipe. If you're after the paste's probiotic properties, however, make sure to stir it in right after taking it off the stove. Otherwise, the probiotic bacteria will die.

Give these pasta recipes umami flavor with miso

This simple caramelized onion pasta has enough richness from the sweetened alliums and balsamic vinegar, but a dash of miso paste gives this dish a bit more intensity. The miso paste emphasizes the nuttiness of the caramelized onions while using its tartness to mellow out the sweetness. When adding the spaghetti to the pan of caramelized onions, whisk in the miso paste with the butter, parmesan, and reserved pasta water.

For when you don't have enough time to caramelize onions, brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts is a delicious substitute. The brown butter provides the same nuttiness you're after, with a much shorter cooking time. Add a dollop of miso paste to the pasta after it's been combined with the brown butter, almonds, parmesan, and parsley. Stir well until the miso paste is without lumps and the sauce takes on a creamier texture.

If you're after nuttiness with a lot more sweetness, roasted pumpkin feta pasta is the clear choice. Miso paste and pumpkin are a surprising match made in heaven — the umami flavor becomes sweeter with the earthy, honeyed flavor of pumpkin. When adding the reserved pasta water to the roasted pumpkin, stir in some miso paste to deepen the flavor of the squash.