The Adventures of Black Bean Spaghetti
Back in May, Karl and I had the pleasure of attending one of our favorite events of the year: the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference and Expo. Sadly, the whole ordeal was a bit of a disappointment aside from all the gluten-free swag (I’ll touch on that another day…). Though the variety of vendors at the expo did not seem as diverse as in years past, I was exposed to some wonderful new products! One of them being Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti. I was lucky enough to score a taste at their product booth, and wow! It was delicious and had an amazing texture! They served it with some oil and peppers and I seriously couldn’t believe how good it was. The best part was reading the ingredients: Organic Black Beans. That’s it! No corn filler, no starchy white rice flour to make it mushy. Just beautiful black beans.
Now, it was time for me to give it a try. 🙂
So, first of all, it looks like it might take some practice to determine when the pasta has been “cooked through” and ready. When I added the noodles to the boiling water, they softened almost immediately. I turned down the heat on my gas stove to medium-low (thank you, Lord, I have a gas stove again!) and I probably should have had it a little higher to keep the simmer going. I cooked it for about 8 minutes, and the texture seemed pretty good, but it probably could have gone a tad longer. I did as the instructions said and immediately rinsed it with cold water. I really recommend using your hands to separate the noodles on this part, because mine just stuck together into a big ball of noodles!
I’m not a big fan of the temperature of any pasta that has been rinsed with cold water, so I threw the drained and rinsed pasta back in the pot along with a jar’s worth of pasta sauce (I used Cadia, mostly because it was the cheapest organic option). Then, the water that was trapped inside the big ball of noodles was released into the sauce, and I got a big watery mess. Warming it up helped it to thicken a bit, but I was still left with something that resembled tomato soup with a giant lump of black noodles. I was eventually able to free the noodles with my incredible spaghetti scooper skills. I thought I’d be all culinary and add some fresh basil I had leftover from my Raw Mexi-Cauli Pilaf. It looked really pretty, but I added way too much and it tasted kind of gross.
All in all, I don’t think it was a total loss. Sure, the taste of the pasta didn’t really go with the pasta sauce (or at least the one I used), and there were some technical difficulties, but the sample I had at the expo was so good! I think maybe next time I need to try it with the recipe suggested on the back of the bag, which is what I suspect was in the samples given away at the expo. I’m sure the oil helps the noodles not to stick, and peppers sound like they’d pair up with the darker taste of these noodles a lot better than my watery, over-oreganoed tomato sauce.
If anyone has had success with this product, please let me know! I’m too excited about the idea of a pasta made completely of beans… I can’t give up on them yet!