i am very good at making chili. because i’ve been doing it since i was a child. i’ve done many kinds-white bean, chicken chili, pesto chili, veg chili with tvp (textured veg protein), sirloin, lamb, turkey. this was the first italian style i made.

it starts with the protein, which i bought at the green city market. harvest brand locally raised organic ground beef. & used locally grown sweet leeks. & spent some $$$ at my favorite italian deli/grocery j.p. grazianos. there i got the best tomato sauce, quality olive oil, hot giardinara & asiago cheese for topping.

cook a cup each of dried cranberry beans & pink beans in a pressure cooker in water for 2 hours.

heat some olive oil in dutch oven. chop leeks & add. salt & pepper. cook 10 minutes. add beef & cook till med-rare. add tomato sauce (32 oz) & cooked beans, home-made pesto, dried oregano, basil, cumin, chili powder & chipotle. cover & cook 1 hour stirring frequently. then chop 1-2 cups hot giardinera & add. cook another hour or so. top with fresh grated asiago cheese & good quality sour cream.

the giardinera is an awesome touch. i was surprised & will use it again. it has jalapenos,olives, carrots, cauliflower & gave a great texture to the dish. olives are a great idea in chili & i had never thought about using it before. asiago is also lovely as cheddar can often be very boring. it has a great melting component. better than cheddar.

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