As I started roasting eggplants more, I found that I could extend their life by tossing them with cooked spaghetti (a quarter pound is, I've found, the perfect portion for one). A couple more ingredients joined the party as I continued to perfect the dish: red pepper flakes for heat and rice vinegar for balance. The main ingredient here is, of course, the white miso—it adds that savory depth, made even better once fried in olive oil. If ever there were a dish you'd want to eat on repeat, then this umami-packed eggplant spaghetti must be it. —Eric Kim
Test Kitchen Notes
Featured in: The Umami-Packed Pasta I Cook When I’m Home Alone. —The Editors
- Prep time 5 minutes
- Cook time 25 minutes
- Serves 1
Japanese eggplants (regular works, too), diced into 1-inch pieces
medium red onion, thickly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, divided
dark brown sugar
Pinch of red pepper flakes
garlic clove, finely grated
scallion, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°F. In a quarter sheet pan, toss together the eggplant, red onion, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until charred at the edges.
- Meanwhile, in a small dish, stir together the miso, mirin, vinegar, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes.
- About 15 minutes into the vegetables’ roasting time, bring a pot of water to a boil, salt generously, then cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve some of the cooking liquid, then drain.
- In the same (still very hot!) pot over low heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and garlic and stir about 30 seconds, or until garlic is fragrant. Add the miso-mirin mixture, stirring 30 seconds more to caramelize miso and cook off the wine (it should bubble up violently). Toss the drained spaghetti into this, cooking over the heat and stirring constantly until well-coated in the garlicky miso. At this step you can add a splash of the reserved cooking liquid if your pasta gets too tight (I usually don’t need to but appreciate the insurance).
- Gently stir in the roasted eggplant and red onion. Garnish with scallions, if you'd like.