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Jason is going away for this entire week.  This isn’t the first time it happens, nor is it a rare occurrence.  But what you’ll feel differently about this week, not including this particular post, is going to be somewhat of a breakthrough.  Thing is, if you had any presumptions about me, as someone who likes to cook and carries out every meal big or small, with a sense of class and dignity, for the next 7 days, you’ll find your theory… horrifiedly misguided.  Pretty scallion-oil chicken rolls on a pedestal?  Gourmet popcorns to accompany DVD-binging?  Pffff~ pleeease… you’re too cute.

The fault, is mine.  For I haven’t exactly been honest about what goes on in here, when there’s absolutely nobody watching.  Truth is, like comedians being freakishly quiet off stage, cooking for me, is a hobby that erodes with the absence of audiences.  Truth is, what I “cook” for myself and myself only, is inexcusably, for lack of better words, horrendous.  So here I am.  I don’t know where I found such commitment, but I’ve sternly decided that we (as, you and me) have entered a phase in our relationship, where “truth” is required for the hope of a sustainable future together…

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Which prompted this new segment I would call, as previously mentioned:  The stuff Shit I Eat When I’m By Myself.

Do not be mistaken that these are products of desperations.  You’d hurt my feelings.  They are all – and it takes great courage to admit – “foods” that I sickeningly and hopelessly, love to eat.  Regardless the fact that you may find them only socially excusable, if I was a college student who just spent the the last $20 on alcohol school supplies.  Some of them may be accompanied with a “recipe”, as others may, thankfully, not.  But whatever you will take away from this, I hope that they at the very least, entertains you.

So enjoy this one before “The Shit” hits the fan, the last proper dinner I made before the “audience” decided to leave me to rot in the land of culinary-ruin, creamy and nutty miso carbonara with tiny sausage meatballs.  For this could very well be the only sensible thing that shows up here for this entire week.


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  • 2 links of sweet or spicy Italian sausage
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tbsp miso paste, white or red
  • 1/2 heaping cup (30 grams) freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Approx 350 grams dried spaghetti
  • Dash of togarashi powder


  1. Remove the casings from the sausages, then roll the meat into mini meatballs. Dab your palm with a bit of water if it starts to stick to your hands. In a large skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over high heat, then cook the meatballs until evenly browned on all sides (keep shaking the skillet to keep the meatballs rolling). Add fresh thyme leaves, sliced garlic and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for just 30 seconds then turn off the heat. Set aside.
  2. In another pot, whisk together 4 large eggs, miso paste, freshly grated Parmigiano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water with a hefty pinch of salt to boil, then cook the spaghetti until al dente. Transfer the spaghetti into the skillet with meatballs, and return to high heat. Toss/cook for a min, then transfer everything into the pot with miso/eggs. Stir vigorously to incorporate the hot spaghetti with beaten eggs for 1 min. If the residual heat from the spaghetti wasn't enough to thicken the eggs, put the pot back on low heat and stir constantly, until the eggs start to thicken.
  4. Serve immediately with more grated Parmigiano cheese and togarashi powder.
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    November 10, 2014 at 5:43 PM Reply

    Hello Again! Something like this was in my rotation back in The States. A perfect blend of Japan and Rome.

  • Belinda@themoonblushbaker

    November 10, 2014 at 5:46 PM Reply

    If this is “shit” when you eat alone, I want you to cook double so I can have a taste. That sauce is golden and glorious Mandy!

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 10, 2014 at 6:33 PM Reply

      Belinda: THIS IS NOT THE SHIT I eat when I’m by myself! Yeah right! Hahahaaa.. This was the last “proper” meal I made before Jason left. The shit has yet to come.

  • Tori@Gringalicious.com

    November 10, 2014 at 7:24 PM Reply

    This looks absolutely delicious! I am so excited to try it!

  • Heather

    November 10, 2014 at 7:46 PM Reply

    Cooking for one is so hard! I totally lose all motivation and am super lazy. Popcorn makes a pretty regular appearance in the solo dinner rotation. This pasta looks incredible though – I love the miso and meatball combo.

  • Erin | The Law Student's Wife

    November 10, 2014 at 9:23 PM Reply

    Top foods consume when I’m home alone for the night: wine (wait, is that a food?), eggs via various cooking methods, chocolate chips directly from the bag), all the cheese in the house. Next time I need to stash this pasta in the fridge in advance!

  • Evelyn

    November 10, 2014 at 11:17 PM Reply

    I am so going to try this!!! Could i ask if ingredients are for 1 or 2 servings?
    I often cook for one. =)

  • june2

    November 11, 2014 at 12:37 AM Reply

    uh oh…I second “all the cheese in the house”…{sobs} If I can hold back long enough to make your cheesy popcorn with it I will do that instead. Of what I usually do. Which shall remain a secret. This week I’m home alone too.

  • Amanda Vuu

    November 11, 2014 at 12:51 AM Reply

    Mandy–You are a more ambitious person that I am. Shit that I eat when I’m by myself is waaay more horrendous than this. This miso carbonara with sausage meatballs sounds like the most amazing thing ever. Not gonna lie, I want to curl up on the couch in pjs with a bowl of this.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 11, 2014 at 1:26 AM Reply

      Amanda: this post is not part of the segment!! Hahah sorry for the confusion!

  • stephanie

    November 11, 2014 at 1:31 AM Reply

    LOVE this. and also can’t wait to see what you eat when no one’s looking….i fear/dream it will be the same as me :)

  • Sonja @ Ginger & Toasted Sesame

    November 11, 2014 at 1:37 AM Reply

    I want to make this dish so much! I’m imagining the flavors of the sausage meatballs and how miso must add something special to a carbonara!

    I live alone so I guess I eat a lot of shit during the week when I’m busy and can’t orchestrate a proper meal. Is it weird I randomly invite friends over for dinner to ensure that I will clean my house occasionally and that I will cook something decent? I really cannot live on cheese and crackers alone.

  • Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy

    November 11, 2014 at 3:04 AM Reply

    When I’m home alone, I order Indian food and totally go nuts over it (so I don’t have to share any with my husband)! This would be another great option to have when I’m home alone, because I’m sure if I made this when my husband was home…there wouldn’t be any left for me! ;)

  • Pamela In Tokyo

    November 11, 2014 at 6:02 AM Reply

    Hi! This looks wonderful. As your last good meal for a while, it looks great! I, too, cook less well when I am alone. I always want to do better, but I usually don’t.

    I wonder if the kind of miso makes a difference in the amount to be used?? In Japan, the classic white miso from Kyoto is really very sweet and you can use lots of it as it is not so salty. But the red misos get saltier and saltier the redder they get. There is one miso that is so RED it is almost black and 2.5 T of that would be very, very salty compared to 2.5 T of the pure white. Of course, there are graduations from the white slowly going to the red that get more salty. I guess we have to use our good sense and taste to decide how much miso to use….. But I would think that less of the red miso would be used compared to the white….. Just a thought.

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 11, 2014 at 1:37 PM Reply

      Pamela: That’s a great tip!!! Thanks!! I think I would go with the middle ground. My miso is in between white and red, and it wasn’t extremely salty. I think most people can only find, at the most, 2 types of miso in supermarkets outside of Japan, which are white and pale red. I think the saltiness in those two doesn’t differ very much.

  • Eileen

    November 11, 2014 at 7:24 AM Reply

    Alone food is the best! You get to make and eat exactly what you want. I have an opportunity for alone food coming up next week, and I have to say, I’m totally looking forward to it it. Can’t wait to see what you make!

  • ellie | fit for the soul

    November 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM Reply

    Gah! I need to try miso-something! As in, Italian or American based dish with a miso twist. This is so so wonderful and it looks perfectly flavored.

  • Kristine

    November 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM Reply

    I made this last night and it was so so SOOOO delish! I’m a newbie to you blog but I’ve made 4-5 of your dishes and LOVE them all! This is a winner though!!!! Yummy! Is it too forward to say I love you?! Okay, I’ll start with I love your food! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  • cynthia

    November 14, 2014 at 1:36 AM Reply

    Very simply put — I just want this pasta in my face with all of my being. WANT.

  • Sini | My Blue&White Kitchen

    November 16, 2014 at 12:12 AM Reply

    Omg, yesssss! Miso carbonara for life! (and I have a crush on those mini meatballs)

  • J D

    November 25, 2014 at 12:27 PM Reply

    I made this for my partner some time ago and he keeps requesting it now whenever we can’t think of anything to make for dinner. It’s BRILLIANT! I’ve been making little pork and ginger meatballs to go with it, and I toss through some chopped spring onions at the end. Love it. Thank you so much for bringing this into my life! :)

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      November 25, 2014 at 5:18 PM Reply

      JD, glad you enjoyed it!! The ginger meatballs sound fantastic!

  • Amber

    January 11, 2015 at 6:22 AM Reply

    Do you think I could sub ssamjang for miso here? I have a tub I’m trying to use up…

  • Amber

    January 13, 2015 at 1:14 AM Reply

    @mandy- it’s that korean bean paste…

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      January 13, 2015 at 3:29 PM Reply

      Amber: if you meant the non-spicy Korean bean paste, I’ve never used it before. But I can imagine it carrying the characteristic of miso, so yeah give it a try!

  • Becca | Spices and Spatulas

    September 9, 2015 at 7:30 PM Reply

    I saw “miso” and “carbonara” in the same phrase and my eyes filled with tears of joy…this is an A W E S O M E idea and I can’t thank you enough for making a recipe. Even more thrilled that I pretty much have all of these ingredients in my kitchen and can make this for dinner asap. You rock! xo

  • Jack

    January 17, 2016 at 4:38 AM Reply

    Hey Mandy, any substitutes for togarashi powder?

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      January 17, 2016 at 1:17 PM Reply

      Jack, you can try grinding chili flakes, toasted sesame seeds and roasted nori (seaweed) together.

  • Oko

    August 24, 2018 at 10:42 PM Reply

    I finally made this, and I wish I had made it sooner. This dish was AMAZING. I was completely hooked after the first bite and still dream of it. The creaminess from the carbonara and the umami from the miso are a match made in heaven. Thank you for sharing this pairing and creation. I am never going to look at another plate of carbonara pasta at a restaurant without wishing for a dash of miso.

  • Olivia Scheyer

    September 22, 2022 at 9:10 PM Reply

    I’ve been cooking this since you posted it, when I started college. I keep seeing so many versions of “miso carbonara” on places like NYT Cooking and I just laugh since it’s been my go-to for so long thanks to you. Credit where credit is due!

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