Why haven't we been serving chili on noodles? Leading questions like those often lead to abrupt answers. My response was two-fold. Firstly because it sounded a little weird and secondly because there was this place in Ohio that serves chili on spaghetti and there it is a thing. The weirdness factor compounded by the fact that someone has already done it and made it famous kept me far away from the combination of chili and noodles. That is, until I got over myself.
Aki made a tremendous batch of chili. The spicing, the vegetables, and the richness all came together. She even humored me and incorporated black beans. Our first bowl of chili was just that, accompanied by chips, avocado, grated cheese, and Luchito.
We saved the leftover chili. There was enough to do something with it, but not enough to make 3 crush-able bowls for dinner. As it happened, our fridge was packed with a variety of pasta for American Noodles. Once again Aki mentioned chili and pasta. Instead of throwing up my usual roadblocks, I considered. I enjoyed spice and noodles. I love bolognese sauce on my pasta. Chili is a kissing cousin to that sauce. Finally I heated up the chili and set a pot of water on the stove to cook our long spacatelli. When the noodles were cooked I added them to pan of the chili, dressing the noodles in sauce and letting them simmer together briefly. I added a knob of butter and topped my bowl with a generous grating of smoked Parmigiano Reggiano. I dug in. Damn, it was good. A little off center from my go-to bolognese sauce. The spicing, the richness, the beans, the smoke all came together in each savory, delicious bite. It is no wonder Skyline Chili has made the combination famous. It is absolutely absurd that I have avoided the idea for way to many years. I may have been late to the party, but now I'm going to be regular.