Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chili Mac

I love the Fall, it's my favorite time of year and growing up in New England we had some of the best Fall seasons around. Trees full of brightly colored leaves, clear blue skies and cool, crisp fresh air. Of course we can't forget that it is also the beginning of Football and Hockey season!

Well now I live in the hot California desert and while it can get quite cold here in the late Fall and Winter months we still have nothing like those beautiful crisp Fall days I remember as a child. Fall or not, I still love to make this dish. Chili Mac is perfect for those cool evenings or just sitting in front of the TV watching a game.

This recipe was originally from Rachel Ray but I changed it slightly to suit our needs. It makes a very large batch so you might want to cut it in half if there are only two of you or you don't want a lot of leftovers. Leftovers for this don't last long around here. If you want to see Rachel's original recipe you can find it here.

1 pound Cavatappi or Bowtie pasta
2 1/2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion
2 jalapenos, seed & chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons cayenne pepper sauce(Tabasco)
pinch coarse salt
2 cans beef broth
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes in juice
chopped scallions, for garnish
cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large pot, boil pasta until al dente. You want it slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a big, deep pot, brown meat in oil over medium high heat. Coarsley chop the onions (about 1/2 in. size pieces). Add onions, peppers, and garlic to pot. Season meat mixture with chili powder, cumin, Tabasco, and salt. Cook together 5 minutes, stir in broth and cook til liquid is reduced by half, 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and simmer for 2 - 3 hours.

Add pasta to chili pot and stir to coat pasta evenly. Cook another 20 to 30 minutes to heat pasta. Remove from heat and garnish big bowlfuls of chili mac with chopped scallions and cheddar cheese.


Heather said...

mmm this looks delicious! i love chili!

Anonymous said...

This does sound good too, perfect weather for it. I love the Cavatappi pasta, we actually had them last night with alfredo sauce.

Barbi said...

Yes it is my favorite type of pasta, I use it a lot actually. The bowties work real well in this Chili Mac too though :)