Dec 11, 2008

Picante Pasta

This is my first email that I also post to the blog simultaneously. Go me!

I think eventually I'll phase out of emails and just go to blogs... However there are ways of getting notified of new blog posts so you don't have to remember to check it all the time. Either way, there will be dual posts for now. The blog will be the only place I post photos, though. Although I'd like to point out yet again that taking photos of food is REALLY REALLY HARD.

I can't remember if I've told this story but I'll tell it now anyways, at the risk of repeating myself. I'm a big fan of Freecycling ( - where you give away stuff you don't want anymore and you get stuff for free), both to get rid of stuff I don't want and to get stuff that I do want. A few months ago, I grabbed hundreds of recipe cards off some woman who must have been collecting them for years (literally... there were some very 50's style recipes going on there). I sorted through them and grabbed anything that sounded remotely interesting (weeding out all of the meat recipes), and I still ended up with well over 100 recipes. A lot of them are dessert recipes (which means I'll probably never make them), but some of them were salads and a few were pastas or other veggie-based entrees. Today's recipe is one of those. It's from a series of recipes called Grandma's Kitchen, and it's actually called "Linguine with Picante Sauce" but I've just been calling it Picante Pasta and there's no reason that it has to be linguine, so whatever. The recipe sounds a bit weird because it involves black beans + pasta, but I was very happy with the end result. Topping it with mozza cheese made it extra yum, too. I've modified the directions slightly because I don't agree with the order they were written in.
As always, I suggest chopping all of the veggies up first so that the actually cooking part isn't stressful.

Picante Pasta
Effort: very easy
Ingredients: very easy
Source: Grandma's kitchen card (modified from)

  • 8 oz linguine (I broke my linguine noodles in half because I"m a slob and can't handle full-length linguine without making a mess of myself)
  • 1 med onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp veg oil
  • 2 1/2 cups canned stewed tomatoes (we used diced)
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce (we used plain ol' salsa)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 oz finely shredded Colby Jack cheese blend (we used mozzarella because that's what we had on hand)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

  1. Heat veg oil in large skillet over med-hi heat until hot. Add onion and garlic and mix well. Saute until onion is tender.
  2. Add undrained tomatoes, picante sauce (salsa), black beans, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and mix well. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and cover.
  3. Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes; remove cover. Increase heat to med-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until sauce is the desired consistency, about 5 min.
  4. Meanwhile (around step 2 or 3), cook pasta using package directions; drain. Rinse quickly and cover to keep warm.
  5. Serve sauce over pasta (either one large platter or individual plates/bowls), sprinkle with cheese and cilantro.

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