Italian Chili

This is fabulous comfort food on a cold, wintery night and the leftovers hold up really well.  If you feel like you just have to add cheese over the top, I recommend Parmesan.  But really, it’s not necessary.

1lb. ground beef (I used Match Meats substitute)
1/4c olive oil
1 1/2c onion, chopped
1c celery, chopped
1/4c garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4c vegetable broth
14oz. can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
3oz. tomato paste
1 1/4 tsp.dried thyme
1 1/4 tsp. dried basil

1 1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1TBSP dried parsley

1c ditalini pasta

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1.  In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef thoroughly, drain if necessary, and set aside.

2.  In the same pot, heat the olive oil.  Cook onion, celery, garlic, and black pepper until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

3.  Add the vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.  Season with thyme, basil, oregano, and parsley.

4.  Cover, reduce heat to Low and simmer 1 hour.

5.  Meanwhile, in a small-medium pot, cook the pasta; drain and set aside.

6.  Add the beef and pasta to the main pot and allow to to simmer another 10-15 minutes to heat through.

Served with homemade herb and cheese bread – yum!
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