Serves 4 / A belly-warming treat in the Japanese tradition. Prep tips: Timing is important in this cooking process; it all happens in quick succession, so have ingredients set out and ready to go. This dish would also be happy topped with sautéed shrimp or fish.

2 cups water, divided

2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin coins

½ yellow onion, cut in medium dice

5 tablespoons sweet white miso

1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium tamari

8 ounces buckwheat soba noodles

½ cup finely chopped green onions, white and green tops

5 ounces baby spinach

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

  1. Heat 1 cup water in a saucepan and add carrots and onion. Simmer for several minutes, until tender. In a small bowl, mix remaining 1 cup room-temperature water with miso, mirin, and tamari. Stir until miso is evenly dissolved.
  2. Cook noodles until al dente, about 4 minutes.
  3. Drain noodles. In a warm serving bowl, combine noodles with vegetables in cooking water, miso mixture, green onions, spinach, and sesame oil. Stir until spinach wilts, and serve immediately.

PER SERVING: 147 cal, 5% fat cal, 1g fat, 0g sat fat, 0mg chol, 5g protein, 31g carb, 4g fiber, 442mg sodium

More quick pasta recipes

What do you think of this recipe? Love it? Could be better? Share your experience, ask questions, or post comments and helpful cooking hints on our DL Recipe Feedback forum, hosted by senior food editor Elisa Bosley