I love taking dishes from ethnic cuisines and putting my Italian spin on it. It's particularly easy to do with Mexican food since many of the ingredients have an Italian counterpart, ex. cilantro and parsley, chili peppers and giardinera, roasted poblanos and roasted red peppers. Here is my take on a light and summery Italian chili that happens to be quite healthy, I made it for my fellow food blogger friend Everything Erica the other night, and she went crazy for it.. hope you enjoy it too!!
3 links of Jennie-O spicy Italian turkey sausage, casings removed, crumbled
1 half onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, chopped
1 large zucchini chopped into small cubes
Basil- 5 larges leaves, chopped for garnish
2 Cans Cannelini beans
1 can San Marzano tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
1/4 tsp Crushed red chili flakes
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning (or oregano)
Ricotta cheese (can use part skim)
1/3 cup white wine
Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Sauté the zucchini (that has been salted for a few min) for 1 min then add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Season with S&P. Sauté for 1 more min and then crumble the sausage (removed from casing) into the pot. Stir until sausage is browned. Turn heat to medium. Add wine and cook down for 2 min. Add the 2 cans of beans (drain out half of liquid), and can of tomatoes in sauce (you can crush or chop tomatoes if they're whole). Add garlic powder, chili flakes, Italian seasoning and season again with S&P. If Chili is too thick, you can add 1/4-1/3 cup water or stock if desired. Cover and cook on low-simmer for 30 min.
When ready to serve, stir in 1/4 cup of ricotta into chili and half of basil. Serve into 4 bowls and garnish with remaining basil, and a dollop of ricotta in each bowl.