The robust flavour of the savoury sauce makes this dish a perfect choice to serve to guests.
- Bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a saucepan. Drop in the onions, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain the water from the pan.
- Cover the onions with cold water, and let sit for a few minutes or until cool enough to handle. Slice the tips off the root ends, and pinch to squeeze out the onions. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and salt, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.
- Add the cooked onions to the mixture, along with the wine, shoyu, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer, loosely covered, for 20 to 25 minutes.
- In a large pot bring 3 litres of water to the boil for the spaghetti. Do not add the pasta until the sauce is nearly done, as the timing is important. The sauce must be done when the pasta is finished. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 teaspoons oil to the boiling water, then add the spaghetti and stir until the water returns to a boil. Cook according to the directions on the pack.
- Once the pasta begins cooking, remove and discard the bay leaf from the sauce. Dissolve the kuzu in 2 tablespoons cold water and slowly add to the sauce while stirring constantly. Add only enough to make a thin sauce consistency. Add half the parsley and simmer for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Drain the spaghetti, catching and reserving at least 285ml of the cooking water. Immediately add the pasta to the sauce, stir well and serve garnished with the remaining parsley. If necessary, add some or all of the reserved cooking water to achieve the proper consistency.
John & Jan Belleme
John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.
For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.
In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.
Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.
John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.