My dream career would be running a restaurant in which I make one giant bowl of pasta for a dozen or so people four nights a week. While there may be a few financial holes in that particular vision for my future, I must say that I truly excel at making big bowls of pasta. It’s the nonna in me!
This particular bowl of pasta is a dream. It’s got all kinds of umami (the fifth taste, which captures savoriness) – featuring darkly roasted mushrooms, garlic, miso, and a healthy shaving of parmesan. Buon appetito!
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 lb mixed mushrooms
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts (toast in oven at 350 for 12 minutes for extra deliciousness)
- Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons miso
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- a couple tablespoons of butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan for grating
- Olive oil
- Prepare mushrooms. Preheat oven as high as it will go. Quarter the mushrooms and toss with a healthy glug or three of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven until brown and a bit crispy, about 15-20 minutes. To amplify the flavor, mix with a splash of lemon juice once roasted.
- Cook pasta. I recommend amply salting the water (Samin Nosrat says it should taste like the ocean) to properly flavor the pasta. Before draining, reserve 1/4 cup of the starchy pasta water.
- While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. Heat a large sauté pan — enough to eventually hold all the pasta — on medium. Add the butter, and once melted, add the heavy cream. Once the cream comes to a boil, lower heat and add garlic and miso. Season as needed with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice, zest, and reserved pasta water to the cream sauce. The pasta water’s starchy goodness will give the sauce its body and help it stick to the pasta. Taste once more and adjust seasoning.
- Return heat to medium, add drained pasta to sauté pan, and mix for about two minutes, so the pasta absorbs the flavors of the sauce.
- Toss pasta with mushrooms, walnuts, and parsley, and top with a healthy amount of freshly shaved parmesan.