Noodles with Garlicky Black Bean Sauce

Savory seasoned black beans make a delightful sauce for tender noodles.

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 1 1/2  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 small fresh hot chile, minced, optional
  • 4 cups well-cooked black beans (about 1 2/3 cups raw),
    or 2 1-pound cans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime or 1/2 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano and ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid, beer, or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8  to 10 ounces quinoa or corn ribbons
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, as desired
  • 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
  • Low-fat vegan sour cream or soy yogurt, optional

Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and optional chile and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

Add the beans, lime juice, oregano, cumin, and liquid. Bring to a simmer, then mash the beans with a mashing utensil until most of them are slightly broken. The sauce should be thick and moist, but not soupy. Add a bit more liquid if necessary. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl, then stir in the remaining oil and a bit of salt, if desired.

To serve, place a bed of noodles on each plate. Top with some of the black bean sauce, then sprinkle with some cilantro and scallion. Finish with a small dollop of sour cream, if desired.

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