Mama Fox’s Award Winning Italian Chili

This started out as a filling for jumbo pasta shells, but then we had a chili cook-off competition at work and I really wanted to participate, but my tummy doesn’t care for traditional chili, so decided to alter the original recipe, and I came up with this. Surprisingly, I won the competition (out of 13 entries).

2 lbs ground pork
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp basil
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp ground fennel seed
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
1 large can diced tomatoes (do not drain)
2 large cans of tomato sauce
10 oz pkg frozen spinach
32 oz chicken stock
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Thick slices of French or Italian bread

Brown the ground pork in a frying pan. Add all of the spices before it’s done.  Feel free to adjust the spices to taste. This is not a particularly spicy hot dish. If you want it hotter, add more crushed red pepper flakes.

Place the browned pork & spices into a crockpot. Add all of the other ingredients except for the cheeses and bread. (You can add the spinach frozen; just make sure to stir it up after it thaws out) Cook on low for as long as possible (at least 4-6 hours).

Half an hour before serving, stir in the ricotta cheese and continue cooking.

Toast the bread and place it in the bottom of a bowl. Ladle chili into bowl, over toast. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

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