Thursday, September 29, 2011
We are not vegetarians, nor are we in the process of converting but I think it is a very good idea to have some meatless meals on filed away. Spencer is a meat and potatoes guy, so the idea of converting to vegetarians is completely out of the question. I do, however, like to incorporate meatless dishes into our meal plans and I am slowly but surely building up my vegetarian recipe repertoire so that I can hopefully have a meatless dish every week.
Spencer isn't opposed to vegetarian dishes, but they do have to be filling. Some recipes we've tried have been satisfying initially but a few hours later he's back in the kitchen looking for something else to eat. So one of the main requirements for any meatless dishes I make is that they have to be hearty. This pasta was delicious, filling and yet surprising light. I loved the flavor combination in this sauce. It was savory, smokey and sweet all at the same time. The cheese is a delicious accompaniment, as well, it add a sharpness to each bite. The cilantro and fresh tomatoes bring it to live and give it an extra burst of flavor, and it makes the plate look pretty too!
In addition to this being a very delicious vegetarian dish, it is also very minimal in time and preparation. Pasta is a very quick food to prepare anyway,and having a sauce that takes just as little time to prepare as pasta, makes this the perfect weeknight meal. There's nothing better than a quick meal that is not only healthy but delicious! Tucker even loved this; he cleaned his plate and then helped me finish off mine.
Pasta with Mexican Black Bean Sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Medium onion, chopped
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (4.5oz) can green chiles
1 Tsp chili powder
1 Tsp ground cumin
1/2 Tsp sugar
1/4 Tsp fresh chopped oregano
1 (14.5oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish
Grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Shredded cheese, for topping (optional)
12 oz. pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt and cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
Meanwhile, preheat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 1-2 minutes, when onions begin to turn translucent add the garlic and saute until fragarent, an additional 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, and sugar and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Remove 1 cup of the tomato mixture from the pan and place in a medium bowl along with 3/4 of the can of black beans. Using an immersion blender*, blend the mixture until desired consistency is achieved. Return the mixture to the skillet, along with the 1/4 can black beans and oregano and stir together.
Divide the pasta evenly among the plates and spoon the black bean sauce over the pasta. Top with tomatoes, cilantro and cheese, if desired.
*If you do not have an immersion blender you may use a blender or food processor.
Recipe source: Adapted from branny boils over originally from American Dry Bean Board