Italian Chili

Italian Chili

ITALIAN CHILI

As a Texan girl, chili means no beans, whatsoever. Even those who have come to live in Texas has learned to eat that way, and don't bother asking to add them in. When I saw this Italian Chili recipe, published in Cuisine At Home magazine of Soups, Stews, and Chilies, I thought maybe I should try something outside the box. I've come to love other Italian dishes, so why not their version of chili? 

This recipe makes more than the listed 5 servings, going as far as 7-8 servings, because I served it with some crusty bread to soak up the sauces. It was a simple dish to make, definitely for a weeknight dinner, and some leftovers the next day. Besides the simple steps, the great thing is that most of the ingredients are the usual things you already have, such as garlic, chicken broth, Italian seasoning, and red wine. Don't let the long list of ingredients deter you from a weeknight meal, it's not so bad. 

GATHER:

  • 1 lb bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 8oz stick pepperoni, cubed (I diced some summer sausage for this instead)
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes in juice (28oz each)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (15oz)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (15oz)
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
  • Sour cream
  • Sprigs of fresh basil

MAKE:

  1. Brown sausage in oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepperoni, and garlic to the pot; cook 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and sauté 1 minute.
  2. Deglaze pot with wine and vinegar; simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in tomatoes and broth; reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes. (I broke up the whole tomatoes in the pot with a spatula before simmering it. Also, I reduced the heat to medium-low instead of medium.)
  3. Add beans and Italian seasoning to chili; simmer until heated through. Season chili with salt and pepper flakes. Garnish each serving with sour cream and basil sprigs.