This chili variation started as a recipe from my dad, and I elaborated on it. The difference between the two is that I added ground cinnamon, brown sugar, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce, and I served the meat dish over pasta to make it a chili-mac dish. Now if you would like ‘Chillie,’ as my dad lovingly wrote in my book, just omit the four ingredients I marked with an asterisk. Chili Amore is named so because of its taste. Just like love it starts off sweet, and the ingredients’ textures excite the diner before they receive a little love tap of spice.
1 pound ground beef or venison
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (16 oz) can diced tomatos
1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
4 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon or to taste crushed red pepper**
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*2-3 teaspoons brown sugar for beef; 1-2 for venison**
*1 tablespoon hot sauce
*1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
*1 box of medium size pasta
Shredded cheese of choice, to taste (optional)
**Notes on the ingredients
My family uses our own crushed red pepper; we dry out our chilies and crush them with a food processor. These red pepper flakes have a stronger flavor than most store bought brands. You also do not need the whole 1/4 teaspoon or any at all.
The brown sugar amount varies based on two factors: personal preference and meat choice. It is lower for venison because that meat is naturally sweet.
If doubling the recipe, double all ingredients except the tomato sauce.
Cook ground meat with onions and green peppers until it is brown over medium-high heat. Drain fat.
Stir in remaining ingredients, starting with canned ingredients then everything else over medium heat. Let it bubble, then reduce the temperature to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until pasta is done.
If cooking pasta, prepare according to package directions immediately after covering the chili.
***Cost was based on six servings and the shredded cheese was not factored in. Ingredients considered a pantry “staples” (soups/broths, flour, sugar, spices, brown sugar, eggs, milk and olive oil,) were not factored into the cost.