Posts Tagged ‘red chili’


Veggie chili.

Our friend Norma, who lives with husband Bill in McClean, Virginia close to Washington DC, has given me permission to reproduce her wonderfully detailed survey of chili traditions.

Tempting one day to cruise the Chili Trail!

Do you know that “Chili” was strictly a “Gringo” invention?  The only chili the Mexicans know is the sauce.  It was the ranchers and cowboys who first started putting together the recipe, mostly to cover up stale meat while out on the trail drive.  They also needed the extra protein while on the long cattle drives north to St. Louis, Kansan City and then Chicago.  People in the southwest don’t add beans to their chili.  That is a Midwest way to do it.  Cincinnati cilli has a dash of cinnamon.
Bar-B-Q:  Texas Bar-B-Q is always dry.  They rub seasonings and spices on the raw meat, put it on a grill and smoke it slowly until it is done.
Memphis and Kansas City Bar-B-Q is “wet” cooked in a sauce until it falls of the bone.  Most of them start with a tomato base sauce.  Also includes vinegar, molasses & paprika.
St. Louis has mustard and brown sugar.
Thanks, Norma!
Anyone care to add other chili wisdom?

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Amatriciana and Arrabiata.

Two tomato-based pastas beginning with “A“–and until now I never bothered to find out the difference.

As far as I can gather (my Italian friends might put me right on this) arrabiata is vegetarian and amatriciana is made with pork–but both are fired up with chili–as much or as little heat as you like.

Last night for a Birthday Pasta I made amatriciana with wholewheat penne.

(We always eat wholewheat pasta. Its lower glycemic index makes it healthier–which matters for people with diabetes–and Meredith and I prefer it now. That said, I limit myself to pasta once a week.)

Our friends, Keith and Helen, sent a birthday present of some bold and beautiful Tuscan red wine and it went down a treat with this robust sauce.

It takes its name  from the town of Amatrice,

in the east of the region of Lazio (Rome’s region) close to the border of Abruzzo and Marche to its north.

for 4

350 grms wholewheat penne

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion–chopped small

2 garlic cloves–chopped small

2 oz/50 grms pancetta or bacon–chopped small

2 small dry red chilis–seeds removed and chopped

2 teaspoons rosemary needles–chopped small

2 tblspoons red wine

1 14-oz can/tin of tomatoes–chopped and drained but retaining 3 tablespoons of its juice

salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a sauté pan large enough to contain the cooked pasta at the end.
  • Gently brown the onion, bacon and garlic.
  • Take  time to get a nice sticky, slightly caramelised result (but not burnt!).

  • Stir in the chili and rosemary and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the wine and let it bubble a moment to burn off the alcohol.
  • Add the tomatoes and extra juice and mix everything together thoroughly.
  • Cook this for about 20 minutes to achieve the unctious sauce in the photo at the top.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil a large saucepan of cold water with a teaspoon of salt.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to your taste.
  • Drain the pasta thoroughly and add to the sauce; turn it well in and heat through.
  • Serve hot in warmed bowls with parmesan cheese to grate and red wine with a bit of attitude!

Portion control is the only challenge!

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