This Italian-style chili has a rich tomato, shallot, fresh basil and oregano sauce for the base with a touch of chili paste. Roasted eggplant stands in for the more traditional beans and then it is topped with a creamy dollop of Burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese and served with quick Rosemary Focaccia.
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plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
small diced shallots
ground mild italian sausage
ground hot italian sausage
crushed tomatoes with basil
chili paste (such as sambal oelek)
finely chopped fresh oregano
finely chopped fresh basil plus additional for garnish
burrata cheese (fresh mozzarella may be substituted)
2Spread the eggplant in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt; let sit for 10 minutes. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil over the eggplant and using your hands gently toss to coat. Roast the eggplant in the oven until lightly browned, about 12-14 minutes.
3In a deep heavy 2 quart saucepan heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and the remaining salt and cook just until translucent but not browned. Break apart the sausage into the pan with the shallots and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the pepperoni strips and cook for an additional minute.
4Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and chili paste and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the herbs and the roasted eggplant and cook an additional 10 minutes.
5Meanwhile, to make the focaccia bread, arrange the pizza crusts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over each crust then sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, pepper, salt, Italian seasoning and rosemary, evenly dividing. Bake crusts in the oven until browned and bubbly.
6To serve divide the chili into serving bowls and top each with a portion of the cheese and garnish with additional fresh basil. Cut the focaccia into wedges and serve with the chili.