Roasted Eggplant Spaghetti with Miso Brown Butter Sauce

Roasted eggplant spaghetti with miso brown butter sauce

I’ve been a total grandma lately. Case in point: I’m currently sitting in my living room under a crocheted blanket and a snoozing lap dog. Cookie makes a fine laptop stand. My other grandmotherly activities of late include polishing silverware, tending to my houseplants, mending my chambray shirt and baking cookies. I can’t decide if I want to pick my knitting needles or golf clubs once all my things are in order.


A few Saturday nights ago, I stayed in and spent the evening testing roasted eggplant techniques. Good grief, I’m 27 going on 70! Salted vs. unsalted, halved vs. cubed, skin on vs. peeled. I decided on unsalted, cubed and peeled. You’ll see that I didn’t completely peel the eggplants in these photos. I wanted to verify my peeled verdict (ok, I was being lazy) and later regretted it.

roasted eggplant and miso

I also tried miso butter, an idea I picked up from a recent issue of Martha Stewart Living. I decided to brown the butter first, add black pepper, and toss it with spaghetti and cubed eggplant roasted to golden pillowy perfection. Japanese miso might seem like a funny addition to Italian pasta, but the Japanese have been serving eggplant with miso (Nasu dengaku) for ages. The miso lends a salty, umami-flavored, magical je ne sais quoi to the dish.

I always know when I’ve hit something really good when I lose my grasp on space and time whilst going back for the next bite, and finally push back my plate with a “woah.” In reality, the woah might be an expletive, but my grandmother reads my posts so I try to keep myself in check. I hope you’ll give the recipe a shot and come back to report your uncensored opinion.

spaghettimiso brown butterroasted eggplant with miso brown butter sauceRoasted eggplant spaghetti with miso brown butter sauce recipe

Roasted Eggplant Spaghetti with Miso Brown Butter Sauce
4.7 from 3 reviews
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
Roasted eggplant and spaghetti tossed in an incredibly flavorful brown butter-miso-black pepper sauce. This dish is more buttery and carb-heavy than most others in my index, but some days call for butter and carbs. On those days, make this.
  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants (about 1.75 pounds), skin peeled off with a vegetable peeler
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 6 ounces whole grain thin spaghetti (about ½ box)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons white miso*
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Chop the eggplant into ¾-inch chunks and toss in olive oil until all the edges are lightly coated in oil. Sprinkle with salt and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway. Pierce one of the large pieces with a fork and make sure it doesn't offer any resistance—if it does, put the pan back in the oven for a few more minutes.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Remove the pan from heat, reserve one cup of cooking water and drain off the rest. Return the spaghetti to the pan.
  3. Plop the butter into a small saucepan and let it melt over medium heat. Shimmy and swirl the pan by the handle often so the butter doesn't splatter (if you hear a gurgling, pressurized sound, you need to stir the butter immediately!). Continue to heat the butter, swirling frequently, until you see little brown flecks in the bottom of the pan (this takes about three minutes).
  4. Remove the butter from heat and add a few twists of black pepper to the pan. Let the butter cool for a minute, then use a small whisk to mix in the miso. Then whisk in ¼ cup cooking water. (Do not add water to boiling hot butter!)
  5. Toss the spaghetti with the roasted eggplant, miso brown butter and ample grated Parmesan. Serve immediately.
  • Miso butter adapted from Martha Stewart.
  • *I used Miso Master Organic's mellow white miso. It's pretty readily available in well-stocked supermarkets and health food stores these days. Look for it in the refrigerated section near the tofu.

P.s. I’m obliged to tell you about the latest issue of Foodie’s recipe app for iPhones and iPads. It features 40 bloggers’ recipes for Halloween treats, including a few of mine. Download it for free here.

P.p.s. Find my gingersnap pumpkin ice cream sandwiches on Design Sponge!


  1. says

    “include polishing silverware, tending to my houseplants, mending my chambray shirt and baking cookies. I can’t decide if I want to pick my knitting needles or golf clubs once all my things are in order.”
    You put Martha to shame.

    I love keeping house & doing grandma-stuff. It’s kind of addicting too :). My favorite is organizing my cupboards. I’m a dork, I know.

    • says

      Ha! I could hardly put Martha to shame. She probably pays people to tend to her things. I organized my cupboards the other day. It’s so much easier to find what I need now!

  2. says

    Kathryne, you are adorable! I have a huge smile over here thinking of you as a 27 year old grandma:)
    And I’m digging your eggplant and miso combo. Yum! I bet it would be delicious on buckwheat noodles too.
    Enjoy your cozy time,

  3. says

    Way too often I feel like I’m 33 going on 83, and I’m sort of totally ok with it. You can never really go wrong with a Saturday evening spent in the kitchen. This beautiful dish is a nice reminder that I need to make eggplant more often.

  4. says

    I can totally relate to the 27-going-on-80 feeling! I prefer a night in over a night out any day…
    As for the recipe, I can’t wait to try this! I’m new to miso, so anything that allows me to try it in a new way is high on my “to-make” list these days. Unfortunately, I am currently without a stove, so I will have to file this one away until my kitchen is back in action in a few weeks…

  5. says

    I’m totally a grandmother and proud of it. Eggplant roasting experiments sound like a truly excellent way to spend a Saturday night especially when there’s a bowl of this pasta at the end of it!

  6. says

    From one grandmother to another, this looks delicious! :) I too have caught myself doing several grandmotherly things lately, the most obvious of which involves going to bed at 8pm and being exceptionally excited about doing so. I’m intrigued by this miso butter concept, and pairing it with eggplant too! I love eggplant because it sops up whatever flavour it’s immersed in, so I bet this tastes incredible!

  7. Nik says

    Not a fan of roasted eggplant (I know, I know) but I might try this with roasted mushrooms. That miso brown butter sauce is intriguing and I for one cannot resist the idea of “salty, umami-flavored, magical je ne sais quoi”

    • says

      Oh, the sauce would be great with mushrooms! I also tried it with sweet roasted winter squash (kabocha). Pretty sure this sauce is good with everything.

  8. says

    Mmm, I am loving the total fallness of this dish. The colors and the warm earthy flavors! It is a dish like this that makes you excited about vegetables!!! Or maybe I am just as much of a grandma as you are! ;)

  9. says

    I think we all have a little Grandma living inside us – mine tells me to be in bed by 9pm every night! This miso + brown butter situation has got me really excited, not only for eggplant but for all those squashes I have begging to be roasted! Yum! :)

    • says

      Great question, Rebecca. I haven’t tried using vegan butter, but I googled it and it sounds like you should be able to brown vegan butter. If all else fails, you could just melt the vegan butter and proceed with the recipe. It will still be delicious.

  10. says

    You’re so cute! And so productive!

    And YES to this! Making it as soon as I get home from the gym (sprints today… oh boy). I mean I needed to roast some of the eggplant I have at home for packed lunches this week, but the rest? Needed to be dancing in miso browned-butter. With noodles and parm?? SO GOOD, I DIE

  11. says

    Is it weird that the idea of spending a friday recipe testing eggplant makes me super happy?

    And miso brown butter. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!?

    • says

      Thanks, Colleen! I love mixing miso into salad dressings, too. Anything that needs a salty kick of flavor seems to benefit from white miso. I think I might try adding it to mac and cheese soon!

  12. says

    I can definitely relate on the ‘grandmother’ feeling. My fun comes from baking, reading old cookbooks, and watching reruns of ‘I Love Lucy’. Not the coolest stuff these days. Your recipe sounds delicious. To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I thought of all the ingredients together at first, but the fact that you uttered an expletive seriously gave me all the determination I need. :-)

  13. says

    oh I am 21 and I send more time at home on the coach than my parents do! We have swapped life styles, they party and I knit…

    That miso butter sauce is divine! Can not wait to try it on my own meal of pasta

  14. says

    It’s ok Kate, I love doing grandmotherly things. Sometimes they are more fun than being young, wild, and free. Baking cookies and sitting under crocheted blankets are just about perfect. And that recipe….it looks so delicious. I just recently experienced my first eggplant baking and I decided that I love the vegetable.

  15. says

    oh man, if you thought 27 going on 7o was bad, i’m 20 going on 70. i knit while drinking tea early in the mornings before work and school. i listen to the classical and npr station while i’m home. and my definition of going out is finding nice yarn, stopping at my favorite coffee shop/bakery and independent bookstore. old ladies unite!

  16. Mary Ann says

    Hi Kate, and hello to Cookie too!

    This weekend, I made your eggplant and miso recipe. It is really good. I used red miso, that was what I had, I did salt the eggplant before roasting and while my pieces were not uniform, the eggplant roasted well.

    There was a small amount of left over and my guy took it for lunch today. (I made it while on a short vacation trip with my best friend). Joe really liked it and asked me to make it again.

    And so, another winner from Cookie and Kate!

    Many thanks,
    Mary Ann and 7 wonderful rough collies who also like eggplant!

    • says

      Mary Ann, thank you for commenting! I’m delighted to hear that you and Joe enjoyed the eggplant. And seven collies! Oh my. Cookie says hi, all.

  17. karen says

    I made this with basmati rice instead of spaghetti. It was so good!. I preferred it without cheese. I would never have thought of this combination – thanks for sharing.

  18. Sara C says

    This looks soooo good! I have red miso in my fridge that never gets used. Do you know if there’s a big difference between the two?

    Definitely having this for dinner tomorrow!

    • says

      Hey Sara, I’m sorry I didn’t answer you sooner! I’ve never tasted red miso so I’m not sure about the difference between the two. I think that it has a bolder flavor, so you might want to scale back a little on the miso. Please let me know if you tried it out!

  19. Devon, Shayna & AP says

    AP and Shayna made this when I was still at work – they added some wilted arugula. When I got home, I loaded it up with parmesan cheese, as I’m known to do, and devoured the bowl. So fantastic!

  20. Anna says

    This is delicious!!! I went a little light on the butter, and I think it could have used a little less still (I love the taste of the butter, but in small amounts).

    Such a wonderful and surprising dish :-)

  21. Monica says

    THIS WAS DELICIOUS!! My teenage daughter deemed it “a restaurant-worthy meal.” Can not wait for the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

  22. April says

    I’ve made this several times and it has quickly become one of my favorites! I have been experimenting with miso for the last year, and it is an excellent addition to the brown butter and eggplant. I use whole wheat pasta with the following changes:
    I add lots of crushed garlic (at least 5-6 cloves) to the butter while it’s getting brown;
    I also add chopped fresh tomato to the pasta with the eggplant & sauce. Delicious! I’m so glad I found your recipe on pinterest!

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