This recipe is the best of both worlds: chili and pasta, with some untraditional black beans in the mix. Chili is so easy to make on your own. There are many kinds of chili out there, so this is a meal that is versatile as well. I made traditional chili to top this gluten-free pasta. Any kind of tomato will work for this recipe, but I used Roma tomatoes. This recipe is also vegan and has no meat in it, so it's the perfect satisfying meal for anyone with any dietary restrictions or no restrictions at all. You can have this meal on the table in 30 minutes. To begin with, this recipe calls for black beans. I personally prefer starting with dry beans because I have more control over the content in the beans. If you prefer canned beans, you can skip this step. For quick cooking bean instructions, you'll find them on my black bean recipe; otherwise, just follow the package instructions for the beans you bought. Gather your mise en place together. Cook the beans, and while the beans are cooking, slice the tomatoes. This is merely so they will fit in the blender, so the way they're cut doesn't matter. Add the onion and garlic to the blender and blend on high for about 1–2 minutes, or until smooth. Add that to a saucepan, and this is where you'll add the seasonings. You'll cook on medium-high heat until reduced to about 10–15 minutes.
When the sauce is done and the beans are cooked, put them to the side and cook your pasta. Cook the pasta you bought according to the package instructions. I buy Barilla Chickpea pasta, which only takes 6 minutes total. I have bought the La Preferida brand of beans when I could not find organic, but they also don't have any allergens listed, which is a big deal for those of us with allergy concerns. If you want to buy more beans, Azure Standard's Brand is here.
The best chili starts with a good sauce. Since going gluten-free, I've been making more food from scratch. I like that I know what's going into everything I make, and I like having control over the ingredients, which is important for anyone with dietary restrictions. It, however, doesn't skimp on flavor, and my recipe is oil-free as well. I had to avoid oils for a period of time, but honestly, I didn't miss the oil at all, and it still tasted like traditional tomato sauce, even better since it's homemade.
I have used different kinds of tomatoes to make my homemade sauce: grape and roma tomatoes. I have most often used Roma tomatoes, though you could use any kind of tomato. The kind of tomato you'll want to use will depend on the flavor result you want. These are perfect when you want to make a quick sauce that is both easy and flavorful. I just throw them into the blender (though I slice larger tomatoes) along with garlic, salt, and onion. Garlic and onion are really important in this recipe. Don't skimp on the garlic and onion. You'll want your tomatoes to be without seeds or have low seed content, and if you use tomatoes that have low water content, you'll reduce your cook time because you won't have to have them cook down as long. The kind of onion you use matters, depending on the kind of sauce you want to make. I tend to use yellow onions as opposed to sweet onions because I want a savory sauce, but the end result of the sauce will depend on your tastes.
The seasonings you use in your chili matter as well. I prefer to use organic seasonings because conventional tends to be irradiated and farmed with chemicals and pesticides, and that's not something I want in my food, so for me, the extra cost of organic is worth it. There is also an alternative to buying spices in the store. Though it takes more time, you can make your own spices and seasonings at home. All you have to do is buy organic produce, dehydrate it at home, and then use a high-speed blender to blend it into a powder. This is one way to always have fresh seasoning at home.
Once everything is cooked, it's time to put it all together. Add your pasta to a bowl, season to taste, and top with the tomato sauce and black beans on the side. Enjoy
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