This recipe is inspired by a lovely food blogger named Marion Grasby. She lives in Thailand and cooks so many Asian dishes that are now staples in my home. I love to look at her recipes and change them around to my own tastes and give her credit when she inspires me.
What I love most about this recipe is that it creates a fusion between two of my favorite cuisines, Asian and Italian! The miso is a paste that comes from Japanese cooking and the addition of the scallions adds the freshness of the dish. Typically, with Asian cuisine, I add lime or rice wine vinegar to cut through the richness, but I chose lemon zest, which is more Italian followed by the nutty, cheesy parmesan….but wait…we need a little more Italian….I am adding shaved black truffle mushrooms. Now, I live in northern Pennsylvania and these babies aren’t exactly everywhere. They are expensive and can be $98 to $160 per ounce, depending on the company that sells them. Sometimes, while wandering through the gourmet section at Home Goods…..I’ll see two little black truffles in a jar for $7.99 and think…. “Hmmm…I wonder if those are real?” I recently bought a few books on the subject to further my research, so I will let you know how that turns out! The black truffles are also an Italian ingredient as part of this fusion.
I went to this lovely Italian restaurant in LA called Terroni’s, and every I go in there, I spend $30 on black truffle pasta, because I can’t get enough. The deep earthy flavor…the spicy sausage… the Calabrian chilies…I look forward to it with every trip! I wanted to bring a little bit of this flavor back to my hometown. If you can’t get access to black truffles, just use the mushrooms that are more affordable and sprinkle some black truffle salt on it…which I will say seems to be everywhere…even here in northeastern PA!
The lemon adds a burst of citrus and cuts through the richness of the Parmesan and the miso. There are several versions of miso…some more intense and others less intense. The white miso is less intense but packs in such umami to this dish.
One of the tips that I love so much is conserving the pasta water and adding to the miso to create the sauce. The starchy water lends to add almost a creaminess and slightly thickens the sauce. Once you add the pasta in the end, it soaks up every last bit of the sauce and leaves you with a lovely bowl of comfort!
Taste each and every bite… the meatiness from the mushrooms, citrus zing, creaminess from the cheese and the butter that bronzed the mushrooms, freshness from the scallions and the full feeling of true bliss from the spaghetti. Color your takeout with LOVE <3
Rustic Lemon Black Truffle & Mixed Mushroom Spaghetti
10 oz dried spaghetti (protein pasta if you can get it)
2 ladlefuls of pasta water
15 oz mixed mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, button, etc)
½ thinly sliced truffle mushroom (if available)
2 tbsp lemon zest
4 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp white miso paste
4 scallions (thinly sliced)
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Boil water and follow the directions for al dente spaghetti.
Add butter to a hot pan and cut the ends of your mushrooms off. If you are using black truffle mushrooms, save that until the end. Brown the mushrooms and add the garlic and mix. Add the miso paste and check the pasta water for a foamy consistency (means the starch is present which thickens the sauce). Add two ladlefuls of the pasta water to your mixture to make the sauce. Add the lemon zest and scallions and mix.
Add the cooked pasta to the mixture and allow the pasta to soak up the sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and mix and conserve some extra for a topping when you plate it. Shave the black truffle mushrooms on the top at the end. (If the truffles were stored in liquid, you can add them at the end. If they are raw, you can put them in the mixture before adding the cooked pasta to the pan. If you don’t have access to the black truffle mushrooms, add some black truffle salt or oil for the additional flavor.