Black Bean “Meatballs” with Creamy Beer Pasta

20 Nov

Your day took a turn for the hectic, you forgot to think about what dinner will be, and you still have a million things to do. What do you make? A frozen pizza? Boxed mac & cheese? A frozen dinner?

I hope not! Real food doesn’t always need a long time to cook. In fact, a full dinner should be easy to pull together, provided you are stocked with the right ingredients. This meal is simple but loaded with flavor. Instead of your boring old spaghetti with tomato sauce, I went a different route with this pasta: a creamy beer sauce. And even us vegetarians can’t have pasta without meatballs! Black bean meatballs require only a few ingredients, minimal time, and just one hot, well-oiled pan.
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Have a healthy, hearty and delicious dinner on the table in no time. Garnish with fresh shredded cheese and you’ll look like a pro!

Black Bean “Meatballs” with Creamy Beer Pasta
Serves 4

For the pasta:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 C milk of choice – I used soy
  • 1/3 C low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2/3 C beer – wheat or summer Ale are good choices
  • 2/3 C fresh grated parmesan
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 8 oz pasta + water to boil

For the “meatballs”:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 C bread crumbs
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Cook pasta according to package directions, but subtract one minute from the boil time.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook the minced garlic a few minutes, stirring to avoid burning. Add the milk, broth and beer. Mix well and bring up to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes to reduce down.

Add the grated cheese one spoonful at a time. Mix well after each addition to avoid clumping, and so the cheese can melt properly. Mix in the spices and continue to cook on low heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and stir it into the sauce mixture. Keep the pot over low heat, stirring occasionally. This will help cook the sauce INTO the pasta, enhancing the overall flavor.

While the pasta and sauce meld, make the meatballs. In a bowl, mash together all the ingredients until well-combined. Heat a large skillet over medium high and spray with PAM or coat with a tablespoon of oil. Use a spoon or cookie scoop to make meatballs. Note: the scoop was perfectly sized and left my hands relatively clean! Place the meat balls in the skillet and cover with a large lid. Cook for 4 minutes, turn, then cook another 2 minutes.

Serve pasta into bowls and top with the black bean balls. Garnish with parsley and additional grated parmesan. Enjoy with a cold glass of beer!

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9 Responses to “Black Bean “Meatballs” with Creamy Beer Pasta”

  1. athleticavocado February 3, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    I love the sound of these meatless meatballs! They look so tasty!

  2. Rachel @ Delicious Balance February 4, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

    I’m very intrigued by the beer sauce! I need to give this a try! πŸ™‚

  3. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables March 9, 2017 at 4:13 pm #

    Ohhh yum! these are my kind of “meatballs” haha πŸ™‚ I love that the black beans still provide a lot of protein!

    • xtinaluvspink March 10, 2017 at 12:33 pm #

      Absolutely! Beans are one of my favorite sources of protein πŸ™‚

  4. Jessica Fishman Levinson March 9, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Sounds like such a unique flavor combination! Love your creativity with this recipe!

  5. abbey sharp March 9, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this looks absolutely delicious!!

    • xtinaluvspink March 10, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

      Thank you!! Tastes better than it looks πŸ™‚

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