Rigatoni With Black Bean Chipotle Sauce Recipe

This is my original recipe, inspired by a dish I had at Privata Cafe in Chicago (as far as I can tell, the restaurant has been closed for a while but I think they do catering now). I’ve been making this for a few years and it’s delicious and very easy.

I’ve written more precise versions of this recipe before, but tonight’s batch turned out so well I want to document exactly what I did.


  • 1 pound rigatoni (the sauce can accommodate more pasta, but I usually just make a box — you can always make more later for leftovers)
  • a big handful of fresh cilantro (just remove the big stems)
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans
  • 3 to 5 canned chipotles, sliced (or more if you like spicy)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • garlic powder to taste (1/2 to 1 teaspoon)
  • salt to taste
  • approximately 2/3 of a 14-ounce can of vegetable broth
  • a few green onions
  • crumbled feta

Prepare the pasta according to package directions (I usually start boiling the water after processing the cilantro and opening all the cans). Put the cilantro in a food processor and process a few seconds. Add to food processor all but approximately 1/3 of one can of the beans (so you’re adding one whole can and 2/3 of the other can — beans and juice), chipotles, olive oil, garlic powder, and salt. Process until smooth and taste — if it’s not spicy enough, add more chipotles and process; I usually add a little more salt here, too. Pour into medium saucepan. Add the rest of the beans and the veggie broth and stir well.

Cook the sauce over high heat until just boiling, then turn heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 10 to 15 minutes (I just simmer until the pasta is done). The sauce will stick to the pan a little — just scrape the sides and bottom of the pan when stirring. If the sauce seems too thick, add more veggie broth.

While everything is cooking, slice the green onions into 1/2 inch slices.

Toss individual servings of pasta with sauce (however much you like — I tend to heavily sauce everything). Sprinkle the green onions and feta on top and enjoy!

Leftover sauce is good with quesadillas — poured over them or as a dipping sauce.

Update: I made this without the oil and it’s maybe a teeny tiny bit less delicious but still very good.