Looking for a way to use miso, I ended up making this ridiculously easy and great tasting Bacon Carrot Miso Pasta. Full of flavor, it is a very welcomed change from my usual weekday pasta!
For the carrots:
- 2 medium carrots
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
For the pasta:
- 4 oz 115g thick cut bacon
- 1 large green onion
- 2 Tbs miso paste (I use dark)
- 4 cups cooked short pasta (such as fusilli, al dente)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Handful of chopped parsley
- 4 Tbs grated parmesan
For the carrots: see notes below
- Preheat oven to 350ºF /180ºC.
- Peel and cut the carrots in small chunks. Scatter them in an oven tray, drizzle some olive oil on top, season with salt and pepper and roast for about 20 minutes, until tender but still crunchy.
For the pasta:
- Cut the bacon in small pieces and finely slice the green onion.
- Heat a skillet with 2 inch sides over low heat, add the bacon and cook slowly until most of the fat is rendered. If it’s still dry, add a few tablespoons olive oil.
- Add ¾ of chopped onion to the pan. Cook for a minute stirring once.
- Add miso and stir to mix. Add about ¼ cup hot water and mix so that it makes a sauce.
- Add the carrots and the cooked pasta. If it’s too dry add a couple more tablespoons of hot water. Don’t cook it too much so the pasta remains al dente.
- Taste and add salt and black pepper to taste.
- Transfer to the serving plate or plates. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, remaining green onion and grated cheese.
- Drizzle with extra olive oil if you want.
- Eat immediately.
- Green onions: I use regular green onions (image above) because they add a particular flavor like no other. But you can use leeks or shallots too with very good results. Even some chopped chives at the end will work if you don't have any other sort of onion.
- Bacon: I like to use thick-cut bacon for pasta. Thick slices cut into small pieces, cooked slowly to let the fat render (image below). So it acts as a part and not only as a garnish or flavoring, which in my opinion, is what happens when you add bits of crunchy bacon.
- Miso: it gives the sauce a very unique flavor depth; it functions as sort of a stock cube (or bouillon). Like umami. Kinda. I use the brown one or dark-colored. There are others, lighter colored. You can buy them online.
- Carrots: the original recipe lacked something at the time, so I added roasted carrots (leftovers from this Carrot Dip). They don’t need a long time in the oven, I like them to remain somewhat crunchy but add that deep roasted flavor. You can use coarsely grated or minced carrots to avoid that extra step.
- Pasta: boil it while making the sauce. I use dry short pasta, fusilli usually. I love the way the sauce clings to the nooks and crannies. I think that is the best way to eat pasta, when it sticks to it. Otherwise, the flavors never quite come together, in my opinion. This is a great recipe to use leftover cooked pasta.
- Skillet: use a large skillet or saucepan to make the sauce so you can add the freshly cooked pasta (al dente) to it (image above). This way the flavor meld together a bit and the flavor is better.
- Salt: don't go heavy on the salt at the beginning, since both the miso and bacon are already salty.
- Garnishes: when serving it I add some parmesan cheese, lots of freshly grated black pepper and chopped parsley (image below). They make the plate of pasta look great and add a lot to the final flavor, they complete it.
Keywords: miso pasta, carrot miso pasta