Miso Tahini Pasta with Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms is a rich creamy vegan sauce on top of hearty pasta with earthy garlicky mushrooms is the perfect easy to make weeknight dinner.
With only 3 ingredients, this easy to mix up vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free sauce is ready to go on your favorite pasta any night of the week.
Simply thin the Miso Tahini Sauce with some pasta cooking water, toss in some cooked pasta and the garlic sautéed mushrooms, and you’ve got a delicious quick meal in minutes.
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If you have family members who don’t care for mushrooms, simply leave them out. The straightforward creamy miso tahini pasta sauce is delicious on its own as well.
Pasta is simple and quick to make, and it’s so versatile. I end up cooking pasta fairly regularly. It makes a great weeknight meal, and with this type of creamy yet dairy free sauce that simply mixes up while you wait for the pasta to cook, you have an easy to make delicious meal in less than 30 minutes.
I know how busy everyone is these days, especially with back to school, then Halloween, and the holidays right around the corner. I’m sure we will all be busier and busier.
So make this dish soon!
This pasta dish reminds me Chicken Tetrazzini, a dish from my childhood. That meal had a creamy sauce, mushrooms, and peas. This Miso Tahini Pasta with Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms could easily be made into that type of dish if desired, simply toss in ½ cup to 1 cup of cooked peas.
I love mushrooms cooked like this – a little golden and perfectly tender.
There are some ingredients that you may not be super familiar with. Miso Paste is the first.
Miso paste has a great creamy quality and lovely salty flavor to it.
It’s a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (the fungus Aspergillus oryzae), and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. Miso is fermented for weeks or years, and results in a nice complex, shall we say, umami, flavor.
There are several different kinds of miso paste. I call for white miso paste, or sweet miso, in this recipe. White miso is light in color, with a mellow flavor. Proportionally, it has a high amount of koji to soybeans, and a relatively short fermentation time (which is why it has a mild flavor).
I won’t bore you with info on other kinds of miso paste. I do love the other flavors, but you only need some sweet miso for this pasta.
How should I store miso paste?
You can keep miso in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about nine months (always checking the sell by date on the package). You can also store it in the freezer, without changing the texture or flavor. For extra protection against refrigerator or freezer oxidation, press a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap onto the surface of the miso, under the lid.
The second unusual ingredient is the tahini paste. Now, if you make hummus, you probably have a jar of tahini paste somewhere in your fridge.
Tahini is simply toasted ground hulled sesame seeds all ground up. And, it’s quite simple to make your own.
The brand I like comes in a glass jar, which makes it really easy to pop the jar (without the lid) into the microwave. Heat it up for 20-30 seconds, and now it’s very easy to stir the tahini back together in case it has separated. It also makes it easier to measure the tahini once it’s softened in the microwave.
Tahini has a mildly nutty flavor, reminiscent of peanut butter. It’s creamy and savory. It does a nice job of rounding this pasta dish out.
How should I store tahini?
Much like the miso paste, you’ll want to store it in the fridge once you’ve opened it. Stored well, it can last about 6 months. Unlike, miso paste, tahini can go rancid quickly because of its high oil content.
Pasta Sauce consistency
To make the sauce, thin it with the reserved pasta cooking liquid. I like it to be the consistency of heavy cream. A thick liquid that can easily coat the pasta.
I’ve found that ½ cup of pasta cooking liquid is perfect if I’m going to eat it right away. If you want it for leftovers, maybe you’re making lunches for tomorrow, thin the sauce a little more because the pasta will continue to soak up the liquid, and the pasta will start to taste dry.
Since this makes a nice big batch of pasta, it makes for great leftovers. Simply cover the reserved pasta cooking liquid and store it in the fridge. When you’re ready to reheat the pasta, microwave the reserved liquid and pour a little into the pasta before popping the pasta into the microwave to reheat.
I like the dish best with regular white pasta, but it’s good with whole-wheat pasta as well. And, you could certainly serve it with gluten-free pasta if you so desire.
For the dish you see in the photos, I used mini penne pasta. Use pretty much whatever shape you like best.
One other super convenient thing about this recipe is that 1 pound of pasta is usually one box of pasta (at least here in the states). So, you don’t really even have to measure the pasta.
Miso Tahini Pasta with Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms Recipe
Miso Tahini Pasta with Garlic Sautéed Mushrooms
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided use
- 2 garlic cloves pressed or minced
- 8 ounces mushrooms sliced
- ¼ cup white miso paste
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. See note about draining the pasta lower in the recipe.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms, and cook until all the water has released and the mushrooms are starting to brown. Stir in the crushed garlic, and cook 30-60 seconds longer. Remove from heat.
- While the pasta and the mushrooms cook, mix the miso, tahini, and 1 tablespoon oil together until smooth and well combined.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
- Add ½ cup of pasta cooking water to the miso-tahini mixture, and stir well. Continue to add pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
- Pour the miso-tahini sauce over the cooked pasta and toss in the garlic mushrooms. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.