Cincinnati chili…ahhhh. For someone who does not each much beef, I sure love Cincinnati chili. I wouldn’t dare try to substitute ground turkey or soy granules. For Cincinnati Chili, it needs to be beef.
But, it does not have to be spaghetti. Never thought I’d hear myself say that. Spaghetti squash made a totally satisfying, and healthier alternative. I like my chili to be 5-way – chili, spaghetti (squash), beans, onions, and cheese (To keep it kosher, omit the cheese).
What a treat!!
Cincinnati Chili with Spaghetti Squash
Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 medium spaghetti squash, locally grown
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground beef chuck, grass-fed if possible
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 28 -ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15 -ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Oyster crackers and shredded cheddar cheese, for topping
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Halve and seed the spaghetti squash, place cut-side down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, let cool slightly, then scrape into strands.
Meanwhile, put half of the onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water; set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and the garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the beef, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef is browned, about 7 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water to the beef mixture. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chili is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.
Drain the reserved onion; pat dry. Top each serving of chili with the spaghetti squash, kidney beans, onion, oyster crackers and cheese. Enjoy!