If you have made and eaten Aki's white miso cavatelli recipe you will know what I am talking about. We finally pulled together the necessary ingredients to put miso cavatelli on the menu. The dish begins with thinly sliced garlic and Aleppo pepper bloomed in warm olive oil. We add the cooked cavatelli to the infused oil and make a quick pan sauce with the water clinging to the cavatelli and the olive oil. Since I really like butter and miso we added a small walnut of butter to the pan to enrich the sauce. At this point we folded in dungeness crab meat to warm through and then at the last moment some young broccoli rabe. The dish was done.
Now, what I left out in my description is my reaction to the miso cavatelli. I had tasted the original dough and thought it had a great flavor. Yet, when cooking the cavatelli for this dish I felt the miso flavor was muted when I tried one piece of cavatelli. I tried another piece in the sauce, then again with the crab meat in the pan. The flavor profile and impact of the miso was subtle and layering on my palate. When I sat down and ate the dish I realized the genius of subtle. If the first cavatelli had knocked my socks off with a miso punch I would have been happy and may not have sat down to eat the whole dish. That would have been a mistake. As I ate the dish the subtle flavors of miso and clabbard cottage cheese united with the other ingredients and fell into a symphonic harmony in the mouth. Subtle is truly brilliant