Being gluten free often means stretching your creativity. As in, how do you prepare black bean spaghetti in an interesting and palatable way that your family will enjoy? Should it be Mexican-flavored (black beans?). Should it be Italian-flavored (spaghetti?). I’d never even heard of black bean spaghetti until my mom brought over a package for us to try, but I was determined to make it right. I couldn’t find my inspiration, though, so it sat in the pantry for a while. I’d take it out, look at it, Google it, feel unsure about how it’d turn out, and put it away. One day, a FB friend mentioned feeding her kids black bean spaghetti with garlic and broccoli, and told me it was a fairly neutral pasta. Deciding it was safe as an Italian dish (how is pasta ever a Mexican dish, really?) I decided to make it for dinner.

Black bean spaghetti

Black Bean Spaghetti

Back in my gluten-filled, child-free days, my husband and I lived in a the mid-West for a few years and used to enjoy eating at the Macaroni Grill. My favorite dish was fettuccine alfredo with grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh broccoli or spinach. This meal often resurfaces when I add vegetables into pasta, as I thought the complex flavor of the sun-dried tomatoes would be a nice addition to the milder black-bean spaghetti.

Ingredients

1 lb black bean spaghetti
3 c steamed broccoli, sliced into thin florets
1 c sun-dried tomatoes, diced
4-8 tablespoons of olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. While it is cooking, put four tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and saute garlic until lightly browned. Toss in the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, incorporating into the garlic and heating thoroughly. Drain the spaghetti, add to the two to four tablespoons of olive oil (as desired) and vegetables, pour in the additional four tablespoons of olive oil, and mix well. Season with salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese, and enjoy hot. We had this with turkey meatballs, but cooked grilled chicken could also be a nice addition.  My kids liked the dish and looked for it for leftovers the next day, which is a good indication of a successful dinner.

Black bean pasta can be found in your local health food store if you’d like to check it out.  To find out what’s new in our kitchen, stop by, or become a fan on Facebook.  If you decide to try black bean or any other kind of unique pasta, let me know it turns out!

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