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Three-Alarm Italian Style Chili Mac


  • 1 pound penne  or cavatappi pasta (hollow pasta spirals)

  • Salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (2 palmfuls)

  • Black pepper

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 cup beef stock

  • 1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)

  • A handful basil leaves, torn

  • 2 cups shredded smoked cheddar or scamorza cheese (smoked aged mozzarella)


Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Pre-heat broiler to high.

Meanwhile, heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO. When EVOO ripples or smokes, crumble beef and brown, 5-6 minutes. Season the meat with chili powder, salt and pepper. When meat has browned, add onions, peppers and garlic. Cook vegetables until soft, 6-7 minutes. Add stock and scrape up pan drippings. Stir in crushed tomatoes, simmer sauce 10 minutes and fold in basil. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Toss to combine and transfer to a casserole dish. Cover with cheese and brown under broiler 3-4 minutes.