Fettuccine with sun-dried tomato and miso pesto.

Fettuccine with sun-dried tomato and miso pesto

As much as I love a nice, herby pesto, sometimes I’m craving something a little bit different, and this umami-laden, no-cook sauce fits the bill perfectly. I’ve been on a bit of a kick recently where I combine tomatoes and white miso into various pasta sauces, but this one might be my favorite to-date. For a recipe that has so few ingredients, there’s a lot going on between the sun-dried tomatoes, the white miso, and the head of roasted garlic. Delicate and dainty this is not, so I don’t even bother using a good extra virgin olive oil to make it–a serviceable regular olive oil will actually go quite nicely here because otherwise you’d lose that delicate fruity flavor of a more refined oil.

What I also like about this pesto is that it gives you the taste of an intensely-flavored tomato sauce without ever having to turn on a stove, and some days–even weekends–call for that kind of comfort and simplicity. It’s why I also choose to use a fettuccine here–the fat ribbons really cling to the sauce the way they would with a marinara, whereas a thinner noodle wouldn’t be able to hold up to the sauce as well.

I’m also going to be trying this sauce in other ways, like slathering some on some flatbread and covering some chicken thighs with it and baking it in the oven, but I have a feeling I’ll be making this as a pasta sauce quite a bit as the weather gets warmer.

Fettuccine with sun-dried tomato and miso pesto

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb pasta dough
  • 7 oz jar of sun-dried tomatoes, drained with oil reserved
  • 1 head of roasted garlic, cloves peeled
  • 2 TB white miso
  • ⅓ cup shelled pistachios
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese plus more for serving
  • Kosher salt to taste

Using a pasta machine, portion out the dough with a bench knife and roll out the first piece on the widest setting to flatten it. Fold it into a book shape and roll it with the folds facing you. Repeat this two more times, and then roll out the dough once on each numbered setting going up to 6 on an Atlas 150. Cut the pasta sheet into fettuccine and nest on a silicone mat or parchment paper, dusted with semolina flour. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While you do this, make the sauce: roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes and place them in a tall container large enough to accommodate an immersion blender with the miso, the pistachios, the roasted garlic cloves, the cheese, and the reserved olive oil from the jar of tomatoes. Start blending them together, and then start streaming in the rest of the olive oil to help create a smooth sauce. Season as needed with kosher salt. 

When you’re ready to have pasta, salt the boiling water with kosher salt and place the pasta nests in the pot, using tongs or a pasta spoon to help loosen the noodles. When the noodles float–after about 2 minutes, drain the pasta into a colander, and then place the pasta back into the pot and mix in the pesto, tossing well to coat every noodle. 

Serve, with additional Pecorino Romano if desired, immediately.

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