Cincinnati “Chili Mac” features hearty bean chili with varying ingredients and seasonings. The one standard factor is that it’s always served over spaghetti. A touch of sweet spices (such as cinnamon or allspice) are added as well. The result: a hybrid recipe that’s uniquely American. Photo by Hannah Kaminsky.
Serves: 6 or more
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
- 1–2 small fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and minced, or 1 (4 oz) can mild diced green chilis
- 1 (14–16 oz) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14–16 oz) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 (15–16 oz) cans red or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup fresh (from 1 large ear) or frozen corn kernels
- 2 tsp good-quality chili powder, to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice, optional
- 8–10 oz whole-grain spaghetti
- finely chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent, then add the green and red bell peppers and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients except the spaghetti and garnishes and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente, then drain.
- For each serving, place a small amount of spaghetti in a wide shallow serving bowl and top with some of the chili. If desired, top with any or all of the suggested garnishes.
Per Serving: 252 calories; 42g carbs; 6g Total fat; 9g protein; 528mg sodium