There's so much going on in this Mexican black bean spaghetti. The noodles are earthy and chewy, the tomato and lime adds a bright acidic taste, the corn and spinach bring color and flavor, and the spices make a bold and spicy statement.
What do you get when you turn black beans into pasta, then add a spicy blend of chili powder, oregano, cumin, and paprika to onions, tomato, corn, spinach, jalapeno, and cilantro? You get a heaping plate of Mexican black bean spaghetti!
Imagine a delicious black bean and veggie burrito, now ditch the tortilla and swap the soft and mushy frijoles negros for a tender and chewy black bean pasta. Suddenly, you have a spaghetti dinner that tastes like a spicy burrito. What? No way!
Yes way! Check it!
I found a gigantic box of gluten free organic black bean spaghetti at Costco about a month ago and I had to try it. I gave a third of the box to Alex to make for herself and Max. It didn’t go over well. She said that the noodles tasted really earthy. She took a few bites and tossed them, and Max wouldn’t eat them. I knew that wasn't a good sign, but instead of throwing them out, I decided that I’d figure out a way to make them taste great.
There were two recipes on the Explore Asian box. One was for a black bean spaghetti with red curry sauce, which sounded good, but since this pasta manufacturer makes Asian food, it was too obvious for my tastes. The second recipe was for a black bean spaghetti with peppers and balsamic sauce. Snore.
As I wandered around the kitchen, peeking into the fridge and the cabinets I realized that I had all of the ingredients for burritos. Of course I did, the hubby and I live on Mexican food, but that wasn't the task at hand, so I kept looking. Then it dawned on me. Black beans = Mexican food. DUH! What took me so darn long to figure that out?
If you like Mexican food, and you like pasta, this is a match made in culinary heaven. The black bean spaghetti is a nice al dente pasta that has a perfect chewiness to it. When you add the heat of the chili powder and jalapeno, along with the cumin, paprika, and oregano, to the tomatoes and vegetables, you can sense how wonderful the flavors are going to go with the earthy taste of the pasta. Alex was right, this pasta does have a strong flavor, and I don’t think I’d like it if it wasn't paired with a spicy sauce, but when it is, I can’t get enough.
You only need to boil the noodles for seven minutes, so make sure that you have started cooking the onion a few minutes before you add the pasta to the water. The sauce is supposed to be fresh, so don’t be afraid of the short cooking time. You don’t want mushy corn and super wilted spinach.
Like any pasta, you’ll want to salt the water before adding the noodles, but it’s what you do once they’re done that will make the difference between great pasta and just okay pasta. After you drain the water, put the noodles back in the pot and drizzle some avocado oil (about a teaspoon) on it. Then squeeze the juice from half a lime over it. Toss and coat the noodles with the oil and lime. Trust me, you’ll love it! That bright acidic flavor from the lime plays so nicely with the spicy sauce and earthy noodles.
Once you’ve dressed the pasta, pour half of the sauce in and toss. Once you’ve plated the Mexican black bean spaghetti, spoon the remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle fresh cilantro on top, and add some avocado slices to finish.
This is such an easy, quick, and healthy dish to make on a Monday night. It’s also loaded with protein and fiber. One cup of cooked pasta is 180 calories and it gives you 25 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber, as well as 13 percent of your daily allowance of calcium, and 36 percent iron. You’re not going to get those nutrients from plain old white pasta.
If you can't find black bean pasta where you live, you can order it here.
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MEXICAN BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI
- 1 lb package of black bean pasta
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of avocado oil
- 1 red onion – chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper - seeded and finely diced
- 2 to tomatoes – cored and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic – peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika regular will work
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- salt to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 cup of corn – fresh or frozen
- 2 cups of spinach – coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup of cilantro – finely chopped
- 1 avocado – sliced
- juice from half of a lime
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water with 2 teaspoons of salt and put the pasta in to cook for 7 minutes or until al dente. Drain the water and put the pasta back in the pan. Drizzle some avocado oil and the lime juice in the pasta and toss well.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in a large pan on medium high heat. Add the onions and jalapeno and cook until the onions begin to lose their water and become translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the water, spices, and 1 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Stir to combine well. Add the corn and cook for 4 minutes. Add the spinach and 1/2 cup of the cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Pour half of the sauce into the pot with the spaghetti and toss well. Plate and spoon the extra sauce on each plate and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on each plate. Put a few slices of avocado on each plate.