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Italian Sausage Chili – Another Super Bowl

It’s been a while since we posted a chili recipe, and what better time than right before the Super Bowl? When it comes to feeding large groups of hungry sports fans frugally, there’s nothing like a big pot of chili. That’s right, more money for beer.

While I’ve added pork to ground beef in chili before, I’ve never tried it with all Italian sausage, and I loved the results. We Italian’d this up even more with cannellini beans and a touch of basil, but other than that, it’s a fairly classic chili (everywhere except Texas and Cincinnati).

Putting basil in chili may sound a little odd, but the sweet, aromatic herb is absolutely perfect with these big, bold flavors, which is why you’ll find it in things like spicy Thai curries and Vietnamese soups. It actually has me thinking about adding coconut milk to a beef chili, along with the basil, but that one is still in the brainstorming stage.

In the video, I mention not to drain the meat after you brown it. This is a common instruction in chili recipes, and is intended to drain off fat, but you also lose lots of flavorful juice. Instead, keep and reduce the juices as you finish browning the meat, and skim the fat off the top later. Everybody wins. I really hope you give this great chili a try soon…like Sunday. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 6 servings (you can double or triple for larger groups easily):
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 1/2 pounds Italian sausage
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup tomato puree
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 (12 ounce) cans cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed
*plus more water as needed during the two simmering stages
*garnish with sour cream, avocado, red onion, and basil!

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