Friday, December 24, 2021

Marinara To Chili

      It's a sneaky kitchen trick -- and it works.

     Last week, I made pasta for dinner one night -- pretty serious pasta, butterfly noodles (farfalle), a 32-ounce jar Michaels of Brooklyn bottled marinara* supercharged with a pound of ground round, a small red onion, a little finely-diced carrot, some fresh red bell pepper and a couple teaspoons of capers.  It was tasty, but that's obviously way more than two spinsters can eat.

     So I froze the remainder.  Two days later, Tam picked up some mild Italian bulk sausage.  I browned it with chili powder and chorizo seasoning, then drained the fat and sauteed an onion, another red bell pepper, a few chopped cherry tomatoes and a little celery in the stewpot.  Once that was done, I added a small can of green chilis and the (thawed) left-over marinara with a couple of bay leaves, figuring I could put in a small can of tomato sauce if needed, or a can of chili beans.  I snipped in three pickled piparra peppers for a bit extra zing.  (My chili runs mild; it's easier to add heat to suit your preference at the table.)

     Within minutes it was pretty obvious that nothing else was needed.  The chili was about thick enough to stand a tablespoon, smelled wonderful and tasted better.  The chili powder moves in on the marinara spice profile and makes itself  at home, to the benefit of both.  We had a fine supper (and there was enough left for the next day's lunch -- but mind that third freeze and thaw cycle, and don't let the chili sit tepid before you freeze it). 

     The maker of the sauce runs an absolutely first-rate Italian restaurant in, yes, Brooklyn.  I won't tell them about making leftover sauce into chili, and please don't you, either. 
* One of the best premade sauces I know of.  Costs more than the big brands but you can taste the improvement.

1 comment:

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Huh. "The chili powder moves in on the marinara spice profile and makes itself at home, to the benefit of both" I wouldna thought. Now that is a tip. And Brooklyn, Michaels, ya say?

But that's why I read. Not just to gather wisdom from other peoples mistakes, so I don't have to repeat same, but also to yoink their successes when something fun and novel pops up.

In return, and in lieu of payment, if you ever need horseradish and stumble across Kelchner's (Allentown PA) it is an enthusiastic little jar. Recommend.

Yes there is plenty of good horseradish out there. This one is bangin', too.