Natto eggplant pasta

わふう パスタ (wafuu pasuta), or Japanese-style pasta, is a perfect example of the national penchant for adapting traditions from other cultures to make them uniquely Japanese. When we were in Japan in April, we had a meal at a fun わふう パスタ restaurant from which Yusuke was inspired to create the dish above. Other common Japanese pasta ingredients include mushrooms, seaweed of various types, squid and other seafood, fish roe (tobiko or mentaiko), eggs, and more. Sometimes tomato sauce is used, but Japanese soy sauce-based dressing is more common.

So, to get to the recipe: first Yusuke sautéed chunks of eggplant in olive oil and garlic. While it was cooking, he brought a pot of water to a boil and added roughly 3 tbsp of dashi powder and a pinch of salt. He added the pasta and cooked it until just barely soft. Then he added it to the frying pan with the eggplant and cooked both together, adding soy sauce. Once the pasta and eggplant was transferred to serving bowls, he added natto and shredded nori (seaweed).

A note about natto: you might recall that I initially likened the taste of these fermented soy beans to vomit. But with a bit of determination, I learned to tolerate natto, and now I crave it from time to time. I’ve even been known to eat it for breakfast. It was especially tasty in this pasta. Persistence pays off!

More examples of wafuu pasuta

More pasta on display

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