Fast Recipes

Leek and miso orecchiette

A cross-pollination of Japanese and Italian flavours that just works.

By Jessica Brook
  • Serves 4
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This umami-packed dish riffs on the classic Italian partnership of creamy pasta with crunchy pangrattato.


  • 50 gm butter, diced
  • 3 leeks, white and pale green part only, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 125 ml dry white wine
  • 55 gm (¼ cup) shiro (white) miso paste (see note)
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 400 gm dried orecchiette
  • Mustard cress, to serve
Spicy togarashi crumbs
  • 20 g, butter, diced
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 20 gm (½ cup) panko crumbs
  • 40 gm walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp shichimi togarashi (see note)


  • 1
    For crumbs, combine butter and oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add panko and walnuts, and stir until golden (2 minutes). Remove from heat, add togarashi and season to taste.
  • 2
    Melt butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat, add leek and garlic, and cook, stirring continuously, until translucent (5-6 minutes). Add wine, bring to a simmer and stir until almost evaporated (2 minutes). Remove 1 cup leek mixture and set aside. Add miso and cream to pan, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, season to taste, then process in a blender until smooth.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until almost al dente (6-7 minutes). Drain (reserve 125ml pasta water), return to pan with blended leek mixture, reserved leek mixture and pasta water and stir to coat pasta.
  • 4
    To serve, sprinkle pasta with crumbs and mustard cress.


Shiro (white) miso and shichimi togarashi are available from Asian supermarkets.