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Author Notes: Rather than being hot or spicy like most chilis, Cincinnati chili has a spicy sweetness to it. The secret ingredients? Cocoa powder and ground cinnamon.
Aside from its difference in flavor, Cincinnati chili is also different in the way that it is eaten. It can be eaten as a 3-way, a 4-way, or a 5-way.
3-Ways: Spaghetti + chili + cheese
4-Ways: Spaghetti + chili + cheese + onions or beans
5-Ways: Spaghetti + chili + cheese + onions + beans
For the Chili
- 4 cups water
- 6 ounces tomato sauce
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon (scant) ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Up to 1/2 teaspoon dried pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 pound ground beef
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups beans, soaked and cooked
- Combine the first 11 ingredients (through dried pepper flakes) in a large stockpot. Crumble in the ground beef.
- Cover the pot and cook over high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Uncover and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the chili is the consistency you want.
- While the chili cooks, prepare the rest of your toppings…cook the pasta according to package directions and shred the cheese. Heat the beans in a medium-sized skillet until warmed through. Heat the chopped onions in a small skillet over low heat until softened, about 12-15 minutes.
- To assemble: Fill the bottom of your plate or bowl with pasta. Top with chili, followed by cheese. Finish with onions and beans, if eating a 4- or 5-way dish. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili