This is where my blog peaks, and no other recipe will live in infamy like this miso butter and mushroom orecchiette. Which I have misspelled and spelled again fifteen times since writing this post. ORECCHIETTE. Why so many letters? I’m here to tell you that this pasta is an umami bomb. The savory miso butter cozies up to browned mushrooms and shallots and god help me white wine in the pan and everybody just gets chummy. It’s a great dinner situation that you will not want to miss. I’m not even entirely sure how I was able to make all this savory goodness work, but when it works it really works.
This orecchiette is all things savory. If you haven’t tried cooking with miso, you’re missing out! It’s a fermented bean paste that sounds weird, but it tastes like savory salty goodness. You can actually buy it in the Asian Foods section at most groceries now, so it’s not all that out there anymore. I used red miso paste, but you can use any kind you like. This will add that lovely savory umami flavor that is reminiscent of broth or cooked meats. Again, sounds weird, tastes good.
If you can’t find orecchiette, feel free to use any short pasta or medium shells. I just like how it absorbs juices like a little pocket. But so will a macaroni noodle or any short, textured noodles. For the mushrooms, use what you have! If it’s white mushrooms, great. Shitake, even better. But I just got the gourmet blend and some baby bellas and used those.
Let’s get started on this recipe. The first thing you need to do is let three tablespoons of salty butter sit on the counter for awhile until it softens and comes to room temperature. Then mix together your butter and miso into a lovely miso butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While you wait on the water, add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Your skillet should be big enough to hold all your pasta after it’s cooked, so use something deep or even a dutch oven or large pot. Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook to al dente, or about 10 minutes.
Add your mushrooms and shallots to the miso butter and cook, stirring frequently. As soon as the bottom of the pan starts to burn, add two tablespoons of white wine, and continue to cook. Cook the mushrooms for about eight to ten minutes, adding a splash of white wine every time the mixture seems dry or the butter begins to burn. After the mushrooms have cooked and the shallots are softened and translucent, add your garlic and red pepper flakes, cooking for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Add your bacon and cook with the mushrooms until cooked through, about four to six minutes. You can skip this step if you’re a vegetarian! Add a few pinches of salt. Then add the broth and bring up the heat a bit so that the broth starts to bubble and reduce. Turn the heat down to low, and stir in the cream.
Drain your pasta once it’s al dente, reserving a cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the mushroom sauce in the pan and stir, to coat. Add a splash of pasta water and stir until the sauce is silky and the pasta is coated. Taste the pasta for salt. Then serve with grated parmesan and chopped fresh parsley.
This is such a beautiful savory pasta and you can totally make it vegetarian without compromising on flavor. Try the full recipe below.
- 3 tbsp salted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tbsp miso paste (any kind)
- 12 oz assorted sliced mushrooms
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6 tbsp white wine, divided
- kosher salt, to taste
- 4 slices bacon, diced (optional)
- ½ cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
- ½ cup heavy cream
- grated parmesan for serving
- fresh parsley leaves, chopped, for serving
- 12 oz orecchiette pasta
- Once your butter is soft, in a small bowl, mix together the miso paste and butter thoroughly. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add your orecchiette and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add your miso butter. Once the butter has melted, add your mushrooms and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes, adding 2 tbsp white wine periodically as the mushrooms soften. After the mushrooms and shallots have cooked down, add the garlic and the red pepper flakes if using, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add a couple pinches of salt to taste. Add the bacon to the pan if using and cook, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked, about 4-6 minutes. If you're not using bacon, simply skip this step.
- Add the broth to the pan and increase the heat to medium high, letting the broth reduce until almost all the liquid is gone. Turn down the heat to low and add the cream, stirring.
- Meanwhile, reserve 1 cup of pasta water, and drain your pasta into a colander. Add the pasta to the mushroom sauce pan and give it a stir to coat, continuing to cook on low, adding a splash of pasta water at a time until the sauce is silky. You may only use a little pasta water here, so just add a splash at a time until the consistency is how you like it. Taste the pasta for salt. Serve with grated parmesan and fresh parsley.