In Texas, we love our chili.
After the first chill in the air, everyone breaks out the giant chili pots. It also brings back that great debate: beans vs. no beans. Personally, I’m a little in different.
I know it’s not even remotely cold outside, but I decided to make chili this weekend. But instead of those traditional Texas flavors, I decided to put an italian twist on it. Plus, I was trying to use up ingredients I had on hand.
Megan’s Italian Style Chili
1 lb Ground Spicy Italian Sausage (If in links, squeeze out of casing but they do sell just the ground meat)
1 lb Ground Turkey (I used turkey, but beef is ok)
1 Jar, Mario Batali Arrabiata Sauce
1 28 oz Can Cento San Marzano tomatoes
2 Oz or 1 Serving Angel Hair Pasta
1/2 Large Onion, Diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, Diced
Handful Baby Carrots, Thinly Sliced or Shredded
2 Handfuls Cremini Mushrooms, Sliced (Thick, so they don’t over cook)
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Parmesan Cheese
(1) In a skillet, brown the italian sausage. It’s okay if it’s not completely cooked. It will continue to cook in the chili. In a 5 qt pot(I used my Staub croquette), brown onion. Add sausage, mushroom, tomatoes, carrots and peppers to the pot over low heat.
(2) Brown turkey or beef in same skillet as the italian sausage. This will flavor the turkey with the leftover seasoning from the sausage. Add to pot with sauce. Add seasoning to taste, but remember the flavor will become more intense as it simmers. Break up pasta into at least 1/4’s. This will make it feel like you’re getting a big bowl of pasta, but you’ll be filling up on the meat and veggies rather than the pasta. Allow chili to simmer for at least an hour before serving. Add fresh parmesan when serving.
Note: This made an obscene amount of chili. If you aren’t feeding a big crowd, I’d halve it or freeze it. I kind of made it up as I went a long and was shocked at how much it made. Plus, it’s very filling.
Here’s a tip: I don’t like that cheese in a green can nor the pregrated parmesan in a tub. Instead, I buy a nice wedge and keep it in the freezer wrapped in plastic wrap and then inside a freezer bag. The convenience of the cheaper stuff and the taste of the good stuff. Actually, I keep all my cheese in the freezer to keep myself from eating the whole thing. I have a problem. That’s why it’s fat girl with a little blog, not little girl with a fat blog 🙂
I am loving this sauce from Mario Batali. The ingredients include: San Marzano Imported Italian Plum Tomatoes from Sarnese-Nocerino area in Italy, Fresh Onions, Fresh Carrots, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Capers, Fresh Garlic, Sea Salt, Crushed Red Pepper. That’s it. At $8 a jar, it’s pretty pricey but I’m willing to spend more for the quality. It doesn’t have a bunch of fillers. I’ve also tried the marinara, but I think this is my favorite of the two. There’s also an Alla Vodka sauce I’d love to try. ( I wasn’t paid for this or even given free sauce, but if anyone wants to send me some Mario Batali Sauces for free I’d gladly accept 🙂 )