This dish brings together Japanese and Italian flavors with a velvety umami-rich sauce that clings onto each noodle. Fragrant basil and red pepper flakes lend brightness and just a touch of heat. You’ll be sopping sauce with extra linguine, or even your fingers, because it’s just that addictive. Also, just between us: miso is our secret ingredient for reinvigorating pantry meals. It’s sweet and salty, and just a tablespoon can go a long way. Cook, relax and enjoy!
What you’ll need:
2 large cloves
3.5 oz shiitake mushrooms
0.5 oz fresh basil sprigs
8 oz linguine
3 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons white miso paste (shiro miso)
4 oz baby spinach, flat leaf
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Peel and finely chop garlic. Remove ends from shallot, cut in half, peel then thinly slice. Remove shiitake stems then thinly slice. Remove basil leaves from sprigs.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain reserving ¾ cup pasta water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 1 minute.
Add shiitakes, ¾ teaspoon salt and red pepper flakes (use ½ the amount for less heat) and cook until shiitakes start to brown, about 3 minutes.
Add miso paste and pasta water. Simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Combine with pasta
Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds. Then toss in pasta and basil leaves and simmer until the sauce coats the pasta, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy!