Few things are more delicious than a tomato pasta during peak tomato season. With the season’s best produce on hand, it takes relatively little effort to assemble a big bowl of silky, veggie-flecked noodles for dinner. (A crisp, crunchy green salad and crusty bread—not optional.) Summer is the season of simple food, and it’s with that approach that this miso pasta recipe became a staple in my low-effort/max flavor repertoire.
I’m adamant about making the most of these last few golden hour evenings. That intention extends to the late-summer meals I’ve been serving up. And while I love the flourish and awe that comes with an unexpected, special ingredient, the surprises that come with cleaning out my fridge have made for some of the most delicious dinners—this miso pasta recipe included.
A few weeks ago, I discovered some subpar baby tomatoes in the fridge and… not much else. And sure, tomatoes and pasta are a confirmed match made in heaven, but I’ve been looking for ways to upgrade the classic. So, in the spirit of ingenuity and innovation, I developed this five-ingredient, one-pot miso pasta recipe—featuring an ingredient that’s close to my heart. Get ready to meet your new go-to weeknight dinner fave.
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Pro Tip: Roast Your Tomatoes and Garlic
Tomatoes and garlic are two of the main flavor components in this dish. My favorite way to get the most bang for your buck out of these two ingredients is to roast them slowly in lots of olive oil. I pour a whole tin of tomatoes onto a sheet tray and tuck sliced heads of garlic, cut-side down, between the tomatoes. Drizzle with a good glug of olive oil (more than you think!), and let the oven make its magic. The tomatoes will become succulent and soft while the garlic gets caramelized and sweet. In other words, totally addicting.
And now for the best part! The tomatoes release some of their juices when mixed with the oil, contributing to the sauce that will coat the noodles. If you’re craving some extra veggies (zucchini, onions, and asparagus are all great options), simply toss them onto the sheet tray with the tomatoes. Roasty, toasty deliciousness awaits.
How to Build a Flavorful Sauce For This Miso Pasta Recipe
Calling this a saucy pasta might be a bit of a stretch, but I’ve been enjoying pasta recipes that lean more minimal in terms of sauce, saving the heavier sauces for winter. This sauce, while still creamy and cheesy, gently coats the noodles and brings everything together in one beautifully luscious and silky sauce.
Scrounging the depths of my bare fridge for the makings of this recipe inspired a revelation: miso would be the perfect salty, sweet, and umami-filled flavor boost for this sauce. Adding miso to everything from savory eats to sweet treats is always a good idea. Paired with ingredients like caramelized garlic, parmesan, and roasted tomatoes (all considered easy umami boosters), this recipe is an easy dinner delight.
To make the sauce, you’ll crush the soft caramelized garlic into a paste, add some miso, the parmesan, a little olive oil or melted butter, and whisk in pasta water a bit at a time until the sauce is smooth and silky. The result? A perfect pasta where every bite keeps you going back for more.
What to Serve With This Miso Pasta
Like most pasta recipes, you’ll whisk the sauce together, then add the hot pasta from the pot into the sauce where it will finish cooking. This will help the sauce cling to the noodles and cook down a bit. Toss in the roasted tomatoes and all their juices, finish with some parmesan, fresh black pepper, and basil, and dinner is served.
I like to serve this pasta with a fresh lemony green salad or creamy kale salad, alongside some bread and a crisp glass of wine. This pasta is sure to keep you satisfied on hot summer nights, and it’s also perfect to make for a crowd. Cook a giant pot of pasta and pre-roast all your tomatoes and dinner will come together in a snap. Trust me, you’re going to be making this one on repeat.
- 2 pints of baby tomatoes
- 2 heads of garlic, sliced in half lengthwise
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound of bucatini or your favorite pasta of choice
- 1 tbsp white miso paste
- 4 oz grated parmesan
- 1 tbsp melted butter or olive oil
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- basil, lemon juice, and additional parmesan to serve
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. On a large sheet tray or roasting pan, add the tomatoes and sliced garlic cloves placed cut-side down. Drizzle over enough olive oil until everything is coated and the tomatoes have enough oil to roast in (I used about 3/4 cup). Add salt and pepper, and roast for 30-45 minutes until the tomatoes have burst and the garlic is caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and follow package instructions to cook your pasta. Reserve a cup of the pasta water while the pasta finishes cooking. Drain the pasta and return the pot to the stove.
- Squeeze out the garlic cloves from the skin (wait until the garlic has cooled slightly!) and mash with a fork in a bowl or on a cutting board. Add the garlic, miso paste, melted butter or olive oil, and parmesan to the pot. Whisk together into a paste and then add the pasta water a little at a time until the sauce is smooth. You might not need the whole 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Add the pasta back to the pot and toss with the sauce until everything is coated and warm.
- Add the tomatoes and all the juices from the pan into the pot.
- To serve, add basil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and additional parmesan. Enjoy!
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