Thursday, September 15, 2005

Chili Sauce? Chili Pasta Sauce? "Italian Chili"?

Regardless of what I end up calling it, this meal was tasty. The reason for the Italian in the name has to do with the main source of tomato in the chili. Due to a lack of tomato sauce, canned tomatoes (well, I had one can and it went into the chili), or even fresh tomatoes, I decided to try making chili using a jar of pasta sauce as the base. For this dish, I used a 3-cheese sauce. I don't recall the brand, but I figure it was something that was recently on sale at the grocery store.

Since I knew that I had already altered the basic flavor of the chili I decided to go all the way. When cooking the meat (I used ground turkey), I added a packet of Italian salad dressing mix. It was the kind that you are supposed to add oil, vinegar, and water with; I skipped all that and just put the dry seasonings into the browning turkey. As you can see there are also beans (I know some people would disagree, but chili needs to have beans). One can of beans was seasoned for chili and the other was plain.

Into a big pot went the beans, the turkey, the one can of crushed tomatoes, and a jar of pasta sauce. I let it stew for about an hour (I would have let it simmer longer but it was already getting late in the evening and I was hungry). I cooked up some pasta (I don't remember what they were called but they looked like skinny rigatoni) and poured the chili over the noodles. With the addition of a little cheese, the dish was complete.

The chili definitely has a "chili" taste but there is also the secondary Italian seasoning taste; all and all, they blend well together. The chili was great over pasta and has been good by itself in a bowl with a few crackers. It was super easy to put together with very little ingredients.



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