For this hearty vegetarian dish, the pasta is cooked directly in the sauce, so there’s no need to boil water in a separate pot. Japanese miso may seem an unlikely ingredient to pair with Italian pasta, but it deepens the mushrooms’ earthiness, and lightly browning the miso as it is done here develops even more flavor intensity so the dish tastes surprisingly meaty and rich.
Cavatappi is a good choice because its twisty shape is a good match for the chunky mushrooms, but any short pasta shape, such as penne or fusilli, works well, too. But because we used a larger flat pasta, we needed to add another cup of water to loosen the sauce.
Don’t forget to stir the pasta as it cooks. The pot will be quite full, so frequent stirring will help ensure that the pasta cooks evenly.
Pasta with Cremini Mushrooms and Miso
- 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) salted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ⅓ cup white miso
- ½ cup dry white vermouth
- 2 lbs. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
- 1 lb. short pasta (see note)
- 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- ½ oz. pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated (¼ cup)
- On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select More/High Sauté. (Or use a pressure cooker.) Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and garlic, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the miso and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring, until almost fully evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- Add 3 cups water (or 4 if necessary to loosen) and whisk until the miso dissolves. Stir in the mushrooms and bring to a boil, then distribute in an even layer.
- Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
- Select More/High Sauté. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pasta. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente and and the sauce clings lightly, about 10 minutes. Press Cancel to turn off the pot.
- Stir in the thyme and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with the parsley and pecorino.
Recipe by Phoebe Maglathlin for Milk Street