Monday, August 29, 2016

Explore Cuisine's Chickpea Spaghetti

Explore Asian, a company specializing in Asian-style pasta products, has expanded and changed their name. Explore Cuisine, as they're now known, recently introduced a new line of pastas made with beans and pulses that are certified vegan, organic, and gluten free. They sent us a few items to sample, including spaghetti made in Italy with chickpea flour. Since the Minx is unable to eat chickpeas, I chose a night when she was out with friends to put together a sauce for the chickpea spaghetti to consume on my own.

We had olives and capers in the fridge so I decided to make a puttanesca sauce. I also had some beef koftes (meatballs) left over from a few days earlier, so I crumbled them up and put them in the sauce. To recreate the recipe for you as close as possible, I've included instruction on how to season fresh ground beef with the proper spices. Of course, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you can skip the meat and just make the sauce, but don't forget to add the extra spices. This, of course, is tasty on any type of pasta.

The chickpea pasta itself was really good; I couldn't tell that it was not made from wheat flour until I added the sauce. At that point it became a little mushier than semolina flour pasta. But the flavor was good, and I'd definitely eat it again.

Middle Eastern-inspired Puttanesca Sauce

To make the sauce:
1 can (28 oz.) tomato puree
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium onion chopped
1 carrot chopped finely
1/4 pound mushrooms chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1/4 cup olives chopped
1 tbsp. capers chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Pour a tablespoon of olive oil into a pan over high heat and wait until the oil is shimmering. Combine onion, carrot, and mushrooms in pan and sprinkle with some salt. Sautee in pan until onions are translucent. Add tomato puree, tomato paste, garlic, olives, and capers to the pan and stir until all the ingredients are blended. When the sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat to low and cover pan. Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little water. The basil should be added just a few minutes before serving.

To make the meat:
1 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tbsp. coriander
1 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp, pepper

Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Crumble the ground beef mixture into a pan over high heat. Cook the meat, stirring frequently, until the meat has developed a brown crust.  Drain the excess fat and pour the cooked meat into the sauce about halfway through the sauce's 2 hour cooktime, to allow flavors to meld.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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