I had never even heard of Cincinnati Chili until I saw it in a food magazine (can’t recall which one). I jotted it down on a sticky note and forgot about it for a while. Then I found it again when I was clearing up my desk. And started my research. I learned quite a lot about this dish created by Macedonian immigrants. They added their Mediterranean spices to ground meat and tomatoes to create an amazingly delicious dish!
When you read the ingredients you might want to run away – I mean cinnamon in chili might sound odd enough – but cocoa powder? You have to trust me on this one. The comingling of the flavors along with the Worcestershire and honey creates such a wonderful flavor profile. Usually when people talk about chili varieties the beans or no beans topic always comes up. I read a lot about it and it would appear that Cincinnati Chili is a strict NO on the beans.
Like most chilis, this dish is seriously hearty and filling. When you add in the pasta, you definitely have a full meal. I had considered serving some corn bread on the side and it probably would have been good with it. I usually like to add in a can of corn, some cheddar cheese, and diced jalapenos into the corn bread mix. Then heat up a well oiled cast iron skillet on the stove top, pour the corn bread mix into the hot skillet and then finish it up in the oven.
Now Let’s Get Cookin’!
- 1 Medium Red Onion diced, divided
- 4 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 2 lb Ground Beef
- 2 tsp Cinnamon divided
- 2 tsp Cumin divided
- 2 tsp Cocoa Powder unsweetened
- 2 tsp Chili Powder divided
- 2 tsp Parsley divided
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce divided
- 2 28oz cans Crushed Tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Hot Honey
- 1½ lb Spaghetti
- 2 cups Cheddar Cheese shredded
- 4 Scallions chopped
- In large saute pan over medium high heat, add oil, half of red onions (save the rest for garnish), and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes then add in ground beef, half of each seasoning and half of Worcestershire sauce. Cook and crumble until no longer pink.
- Add in tomatoes, remaining seasoning, remaining Worcestershire sauce and hot honey. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes. (longer if you have the time)
- Start water boiling for pasta. Add pasta and cook as directed on package. Drain in colander and rinse with cool water.
- In a shallow bowl, add a portion of pasta. Ladle a generous amount of chili to the plate. Garnish with cheese, scallions and remaining red onions.
Estelle Forrest’s self-published first cookbook – Homemade on a Weeknight: A Family Cookbook – was created after a lot of playing around in the kitchen. You can purchase your own copy here:
Estelle self-published a second cookbook – Burgers on a Weeknight – recently. It has over 60 delicious burger creations! You can purchase your own copy here:
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