My Grandma made this hearty pasta dish often when I was growing up. Grandma Laciura was Dutch-American but she was raised in a poor Italian neighborhood in New Jersey and she married my Grandfather who was pure Sicilian. Italian food was all that she knew how to make. She was a great Italian cook! When I was a teenager I asked her to teach me how to make a few of her basics.
This dish is inspired by a recipe from The Complete Vegan Kitchen. Of course, I’m posting my slightly different take on the recipe. Mainly, I was out of coriander and had to work with ingredient amounts I had on hand rather than the exact ammounts called for in the original recipe. Also, the original recipe merely suggests the addition of black beans whereas I feel the addition of black beans is key to making this not only a delicious side dish but a complete protein that could stand alone as a one dish meal.
I just love the way elements of sweet, savory and spicy play out in this dish. The pineapple is not overpowering but just sweet enough. I cannot wait to try this with the coriander and cayenne added in. I think this would be a great side dish with grilled or roasted pork.
This meal is a perfect example of how and what I like to prepare. It is easily done, made with few ingredients, fresh and nutritious. From start to finish it took about 30 minutes, which is just about my limit for a weeknight dinner. The key for me was not overdoing it with the pasta and avoiding a second helping. I was successful on both counts!