Taco Tuesday: Italian Style Tacos & Black Beans

Something must be wrong, because I was actually the one requesting tacos this week. Of course, Nick didn’t object and we both really loved this meal. I’m not sure if it’s because they’re so easy to make or so much fun to assemble and eat, but I am starting to look forward to tacos more than most other meals!

These tacos are by far my favorite of all the different taco recipes I’ve made so far. I combined my Italian heritage with Nick’s love of tacos to make the most perfect meal: Italian style tacos and black beans. Tomato paste and some classic Italian herbs made the meat shine and arugula was used instead of lettuce as my green of choice. The tacos are topped with a bit of parsley and fresh tomato; the warm flour tortillas pull everything together and, as you can see, the meal even looks a bit like an Italian flag!

Italian Style Tacos & Black Beans

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 15 oz canned black beans
  • 6 cloves grated garlic, divided
  • 2 handfuls fresh chopped Italian parsley, divided
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 package arugula, rinsed
  • 1 bottle pico de gallo or diced tomatoes
  • 1 package flour tortillas or hard taco shells

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When it comes up to temperature, place the taco shells in the oven. If using soft tortillas, wrap them in foil. If using hard shells, place on a cookie sheet. Heat the tortillas for about 10-12 minutes.

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or deep sided skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, toss in the shallots with some salt and pepper. Saute for a few minutes, until the shallots are softened and begin to brown.

Transfer roughly half the shallots to a small sauce pan. The pan, add the canned black beans with their liquid as well as half the garlic and half the parsley. Stir everything well and set the pan over high heat. Once boiling, cover and reduce to simmer.

Add the ground beef to the remaining shallots inside the Dutch oven or skillet. Break up the beef and stir until it is browned. Drain any fat and then add the tomato paste, basil and oregano along with the remaining garlic. Make sure everything is well combine and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl.

Serve your tacos with the arugula and pico de gallo or diced tomatoes, the remaining parsley, and the warmed tortillas. Serve the beans alongside the meal or in the tacos themselves.

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