Spicy Black Bean Pasta with Cauliflower and Pine Nuts

Recently, I was on a marathon training run and as usual the conversation centered around food.  My running friend, Beverly, told me about this black bean spaghetti and recommended that I try it.  I’m generally pretty adventurous when it comes to food but I was a little skeptical about trying a gluten-free pasta made from black beans.  Beverly surprised me at this morning’s training run with a package of this black bean spaghetti.  By the way, below is a picture of my pace group taken this morning during our run around the monuments. 
When I got home, I was anxious to try the spaghetti.  Since I didn’t feel like making a trip to the grocery store, I created a recipe that used ingredients that I already had at home. I decided to take this Asian pasta and fuse it with my Sicilian roots to make a Sicilian-style black bean spaghetti. The pasta dish was amazingly delicious and I actually loved the black bean spaghetti. It has a texture that I can’t quite describe - maybe slightly chewy but not rubbery and it went perfectly with the cauliflower and pine nuts. The most impressive part about this spaghetti is that it’s super high in protein, certified gluten-free, organic, vegan, and kosher (so all the bases are covered). It’s also rich in fiber and iron, and it’s the perfect fuel for when you are running long distances.  Many thanks to Beverly for turning me on to this amazing pasta.

Makes 4 servings




  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cups pine nuts
  • 1 head of cauliflower, about 2 pounds
  • 8 ounces of black bean spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste



Step 1: Bring 8 cups of water to boil in a large spaghetti pot and add 2 tablespoons salt.
Step 2: In a 14- to 18-inch saute pan, heat oil until just smoking and add pine nuts, onion, garlic, and sliced jalapeños. Cook until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Step 3: Meanwhile, remove leaves and base core from cauliflower and chop into 1-inch pieces. Break the florets away from the central core and size them similarly. 
Step 4: Add cauliflower to the saute pan with the onions. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring regularly for about 12 to 15 minutes, until cauliflower is softened and light brown but not mushy.
Step 5: Cook black bean pasta according to package instructions, about 7 to 8 minutes, and drain in colander. Before draining pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
Step 6: Toss hot pasta into pan with cauliflower, add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and continue to cook pasta until water absorbs. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then add grated cheese, salt and basil. Toss to coat and serve immediately.


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