This matcha (and miso) pesto pasta well and truly a fusion dish because not only does it have matcha but also can also potentially contain miso. Hear me out first! I’ve always thought it was rather odd that we consider matcha a ‘sweet’ ingredient when there is nothing to indicate that it is only suited to desserts dishes. Matcha itself is very un-sweet, with a pretty savoury taste. It’s an ingredient I truly believe can be celebrated in savoury foods, and know for a fact it is.
I wanted to experiment and see if I could add it to some established dishes I felt it could work in, because to be honest I can’t get enough matcha. It took me a few tries but when I got it right, it was great! For this recipe i used culinary matcha by Matcha and Beyond, but i have also previously used the Clearspring’s premium matcha for this recipe.
Matcha works well with other quite dominant flavours despite being subtly dominant itself- hence the reason it’s surprisingly good with key dessert ingredients, like chocolate, rose or pistachio nuts. So why could it not work with basil? It can and it does!
When testing the recipe I did find I had to modify the quantities of other ingredients in a traditional pesto; I used more Parmesan and garlic so that matcha would not overpower the entire mix. I also used white miso, which provides a slight sweet taste which makes all the other intense ingredients less intense. However, the miso is entirely optional- this dish works fine without it, i just like the layer of flavour miso adds. If you do use miso, i highly recommend Clearspring’s white miso, one of my all-time favourites.
I know this recipe might sound weird, but believe me, there is a method to my madness and this DOES taste so good!
Matcha Pesto Pasta
- 85 grams basil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 65 grams parmesan
- 150 ml olive oil
- 50 grams cashew nuts traditional pesto recipes use pine nuts, but you can use nuts you like! i chose to use cashews
- 2 tsp ceremonial grade or premium grade matcha 3 tsp if using culinary matcha
- 1 tsp white miso optional
- 2 portions dried pasta
- lukewarm water, enough to loosen up the mixture in the blender I used roughly 3 tbsp of water
- Roast the nuts in a frying pan over low heat.
- Once roasted, put the nuts in a blender with the rest of the above ingredients. Blend until you have a thick and creamy paste.
- Cook 2 portions of dried pasta according to pack instructions.
- Pour the pesto paste into a pan with half a cup of the pasta water, and combine on medium heat. When the pasta is cooked, add to the pan and combine with the pesto sauce.
- Taste test for salt, and add if needed.
- It is ready! Enjoy.
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