For the past few months I have been entertaining myself with new ways to use spicy Italian sausage. Chili, a dish that admits of infinite variations, sounded like a good bet. I wait for it to turn cold outside, because that’s the kind of weather for this. It will be quite chilly tonight.
- 3 large onions, sliced as thin as you can
- 2 green peppers, cut into large chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 lbs. spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 28 oz. cans whole Italian tomatoes, chopped with the juice in a food processor
- 4 cups cooked red beans
- 2 cups red wine
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp. fresh chopped basil
- 1 Tbs. paprika
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbs. Tabasco chipotle pepper sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Fontina cheese
1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onions with peppers and garlic in olive oil until light brown. Transfer to a large kettle and set aside.
2. Saute Italian sausage until very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. While cooking, break up the sausage into small pieces. Remove, drain, and add sausage to kettle.
3. Put the kettle over lowest heat and add tomatoes, red beans, wine, oregano, basil, paprika, chili powder, salt, pepper, and Tabasco chipotle sauce. Simmer for one to two hours, until thickened to your liking.
Serve in crocks or big bowls, topped with Fontina cheese.
Serves four to six.