White miso pasta adds a depth of flavor and a punch of umami to this Miso Mushroom Cream Sauce with two types of mushrooms, cream and parmesan for a delicious, comforting sauce that the whole family will love.
Types of Mushrooms
The two types of mushrooms used in this Miso Mushroom Cream Sauce are shiitake and crimini!
Shiitake mushrooms are a completely different variety than crimini and differ in taste and texture. Shiitake mushrooms are firm and are really gorgeous looking, which is why I love to use them as the garnish in this dish. Depending on the time of year, they can be somewhat difficult to find, so if you’re having trouble finding them, just omit them!
The other type of mushrooms used are crimini mushrooms, or baby bella mushrooms. Did you know that white mushrooms (cremini), crimini (brown baby mushrooms) and portobello mushrooms are all the same variety, just at different stages? I found that fascinating!
White baby bellas (cremini) are the youngest, and then comes crimini (the brown baby bellas) and portobellos are the most mature and have had the time to grow their large, meaty caps.
I prefer using crimini mushrooms in this recipe and never have trouble finding them at the store!
If you’re able to find local, organic mushrooms, I suggest not washing them with soap and water. This is because the mushrooms will absorb the liquid and then it will be a lot harder to get the mushrooms to brown. You can simply just wipe them with a paper towel to remove any visible dirt.
If you need to wash them, I suggest trying to wash them ahead of time and giving them a couple hours to lay out to dry.
What is white miso paste?
The real star of this Miso Mushroom Cream Sauce is the miso paste. Miso paste is one of my favorite ingredients because it adds such a delicious umami depth of flavor, especially in vegetarian or vegan dishes.
So what is miso paste? Miso paste is actually fermented soybean paste and is native to Japanese cooking.
The two types of miso paste that you’ll commonly see in the store are white miso and red miso. I typically go for white miso (which is what I use in this recipe) because it is a bit more mellow than the red.
If red is all you have or can find, definitely still use it! You may just want to start with ½ tablespoon and work up from there because it can be saltier and even more flavorful than white miso.
Building the miso mushroom cream sauce
The other main ingredients in this Miso Mushroom Cream Sauce are the cream and parmesan, which make it almost like a homemade alfredo- but that punch of flavor from the miso makes it so unique!
For the cream, I always try to buy organic heavy cream when I am making a sauce. Because there’s 1.5 cups in this sauce, I like to purchase a higher quality of dairy than if I was just using a splash in my coffee!
I also prefer to buy the block of parmesan and grate it myself. This is because pre-grated parmesan cheese can have extra ingredients added to make it not clump, but these can make the cheese not melt as nicely in the sauce. Plus, when you buy a block of it, you get the parm rind and can use that in a pasta sauce later.
directions for the miso mushroom cream sauce recipe
We’re first going to sauté the shiitake mushrooms by heating a large skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Add a tablespoon of oil and continue to heat, then add the shiitake mushrooms and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
Once the shiitake mushrooms are cooked, set them aside and add the crimini mushrooms to the pan. Add a bit more oil to coat them if needed to prevent burning.
Just like the shiitake mushrooms, sauté the crimini until browned. Once the are brown, add the minced garlic cloves and the miso paste, stirring to coat the mushrooms.
Add the butter to the skillet and when melted, pour in the heavy cream and turn the heat to medium-low. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once the sauce has simmered, slowly incorporate the parmesan cheese, stirring to melt. Add the cooked noodles to the pan and if needed, pour in the pasta water until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Squeeze in the lemon juice & garnish with the shiitake mushrooms and parsley!
Miso Mushroom Cream Sauce
- 3.5 oz. shiitake mushrooms
- 6 oz. crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
- 1 tbsp white mellow miso paste
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1.5 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp black or white pepper
- Salt, to taste
- 16 oz. pasta of choice
- Parsley, for garnish
- Cook pasta according to instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Slice all mushrooms and separate by type. Heat a skillet over medium heat for a couple of minutes and add 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil. Allow to heat for another minute.
- Add the shiitake mushrooms to the skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add another tbsp of oil and then add the crimini mushrooms. Sauté until golden brown.
- To the skillet, add the minced garlic and the tbsp of miso paste. Stir to coat the mushrooms.
- Add the butter and when melted, pour in the cream. Bring to a gentle simmer and turn the heat to medium/low, allow to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add in the grated parmesan cheese with the heat on low, stirring to combine. Add the pepper and taste to see if it needs salt (parmesan and miso are both high in salt).
- Squeeze in the lemon juice and add the cooked pasta. If needed, pour in the pasta water in increments to get desired sauce consistency.
- Serve the pasta garnished with the shiitake mushrooms & chopped parsley.
I would love to hear what you think about this recipe!
If you’re looking for more mushroom recipes, check out my Spicy Sausage & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms. And if you want another recipe using miso paste, these Creamy Lemon Miso Brussels Sprouts are delicious!
If you want to see more, come say hi on Instagram or Pinterest.