Black Bean Sauce over Pasta

I like to cook. Really, I do. It’s just that I don’t seem to actually do it very often during the week. I come home late from work and don’t feel like making anything more complicated than a hotdog or peanut-butter sandwich. And when I do come home ready to cook, I often have nothing to cook, because I haven’t gone to the grocery store. I was looking through the cupboard trying to find something other than pasta and tomato sauce to eat when I noticed a can of black beans. I like refried beans, and thought a smoother, more liquidy version would be good as a pasta sauce. Then I ordered a pizza.

But I eventually came back to the idea, and here’s the result. It’s low fat, yet tasty and satisfying. With the beans and whole wheat pasta, it’s a good source of fiber and complete protein. Everything except the yogurt can keep for months, so it’s forgiving of my grocery shopping lapses. Continue reading

Sopa de Albondigas (Meatball Soup)

My dad's recipe, from a Mexican co-worker. I omit the celery all the time, just 'cause I don't have it. I've never found another recipe that uses tomatillos, but they both thicken the soup and add a great flavor. If you wish, you can blanch or roast the tomatillos, remove the skins, and mash instead of chopping, but it's so much easier just to chop. Measurements are approximate; I just judge by eye and throw stuff in. Use more or less water and broth depending on how thin you like it; if you don't use home-made broth, it will be saltier and not as fresh-tasting, but that's totally up to you. Cilantro is also known in some parts of the world as "fresh coriander". Killer with home-made tortillas. Continue reading