A Texas Twister – Spaghetti with a Southwestern twist

Southwestern Spaghetti with Pinto Beans, Corn and Pecan

Summer is here and with it comes fresh, beautiful, corn. At Central Market the other day (mostly browsing) some cobs caught my eye and seemed to say “Come hither.” So I went thither and bought three not quite knowing what I will do with them. Corn chowder was contemplated but discarded owing to the 100F Texas temperatures. Gazpacho was briefly considered but I wasn’t quite in the mood for it. Then an internet search produced a recipe for spaghetti with black beans and corn. Spaghetti with distinctly Southwestern ingredients? Why not, I said to myself as I proceed to concoct the dish below. Turned out pretty well, even if I say so myself. The kids loved it, the missus thought it was a little bland.

Much as I liked it, this is a recipe in the works and needs more work. What I would do differently next time is a) try it without the pecans and b) finish the spaghetti in the pasta sauce rather than heaping the sauce over the pasta (learned this trick yesterday at a cooking class at Central Market) – the pasta soaks up the sauce much better cooked this way, and c) add some chopped jalapenos to add some kick.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 large servings)

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion – diced
  • 1 large carrot – peeled and diced
  • 1 can of no-salt diced tomato
  • 5-6 basil leaves
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (about 2 inches long)
  • 2 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 can pinto beans – washed and rinsed.
  • The kernels from two ears of fresh sweet corn on the cob
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti cooked al dente according to instructions


1. Heat the oil.

2. Saute onions and carrots till onions are transparent.

3. Add the tomato, basil, rosemary and sage.

4. Cook till the carrots are soft – about 10 minutes.

5. Cool and puree with the toasted pecans.

6. Heat the sauce and add the pinto beans.

7. Add pepper and salt to taste.

8. Cook the sauce on low heat for 10 minutes. Add water if the sauce is too thick. You want a Tomato Basil sauce consistency.

9. Cook pasta separately. Keep it a little raw and finish it in the sauce.

10. Top with Parmesan (or Queso Fresca) and serve warm.


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Filed under Italian, Tex Mex

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