Have you ever been so obsessed with a food that you’ve had it multiple days in a row? That when it comes time to eat, you think to yourself, yeah, that’s what I’ll have. Even though you’ve had it over and over again? That you’re a little afraid your family is going to start telling you to stop serving that dish?
Yeah, that’s this pasta for me. The first time I had it I fell in love. Though I knew I wanted to change the original recipe a bit. It was delish from the get-go, but I thought the veggies overpowered the sauce. And, I knew I wanted to make it a few times to see what made it tick. What could I do differently? Could I improve it?
Well, after making it several times, changing a little bit of this or a smidgen of that, I think I got it! The addition of the avocado makes it silky, creamy, and simply luscious. The garlic doesn’t need to be sautéed; the extra bite that the raw garlic gives is perfect. The miso has a great creamy quality, and the tahini adds enough nuttiness to round it all out. (See, I told you I’d give you more ways to use that jar of tahini.)
This sauce is really easy to make, and can be made while the pasta cooks. Which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal. I think serving just the sauce and pasta (without any veggies) is the way to truly make it shine. But, I can see how simple pasta and sauce can seem like a little less than a meal, so I added the veggies, but if you really want a taste of pasta nirvana, serve it sans veggies.
I debated about what to call this pasta sauce. Awesome pasta. Pasta with awesome sauce. Freakin-tasty-yummy-goodness. Or, with the simple and descriptive Avocado-Miso-Tahini Sauce. Or maybe vegan creamy Alfredo sauce.
I think that the name “Avocado-Miso-Tahini Sauce” is almost too descriptive, because it doesn’t really taste like any of these individual items. It’s more than the sum of its parts. “Vegan Alfredo” seems so lacking in descriptions; what is that? But, the sauce is creamy without any cream. It is vegan. And, it reminds me of Alfredo sauce. “Awesome Pasta” may also suffer from a lack of true description. I’m still on the fence about the name, but I figured I’d go with the simple descriptive name.
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 usually add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid. But feel free to mess around with it making to thicker by adding less water, and thinner by adding more water. You could also leave the avocado a little chunky so that you can see it in the sauce.
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 (I haven’t tried that).
So, with that, I give you, my current obsession…
Pasta with Avocado-Miso-Tahini Sauce
Adapted from the Daily Garnish
Makes 4 servings
1 pound spaghetti or linguine noodles
1 tablespoon tahini paste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
¼ cup white miso paste
1 cup pasta cooking water (reserved)
1/3 cup broccoli florets, steamed
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 small zucchini, julienned
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
In a small bowl, mix the tahini, oil, garlic, and miso until smooth and well combined. When the pasta is almost done cooking, add the avocado to the miso mixture, smashing the avocado until smooth.
Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta cooking water 2 tablespoons at a time to the avocado-miso mixture. Stir well after each addition of water, the sauce will be thick at first. Continue to add pasta water until the desired consistency is reached.
Add the pasta, veggies, and sauce to a large serving bowl. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately, and enjoy!