Spaghetti con chili

A few months ago I saw a show on the Food Network about Cincinnati chili. It's different from the typical meat-and-beans-and-spicy-sauce chili mainly because:

a) the sauce is meat-based only
b) it's served over spaghetti

Typically the sauce and spaghetti are topped with a huge mound of shredded cheese and, optionally, kidney beans (a three-way in Cincinnati parlance), diced onions (a four-way), and oyster crackers (the works). Needless to say, this sounded weird to me. I was revolted and intrigued at the same time.

Several weeks ago I got a chance to try it at the BEA Systems cafeteria near my office. I had a four-way and really liked it, so I decided to try making it at home. I found a recipe on the Internet and made a batch recently. The meat sauce itself is a little bit strange, too, because the recipe called for so many spices - chili powder, cayenne pepper, cinnamon (yep), allspice (huh?), cumin (okay, that's typical for chili) and unsweetened cocoa powder (wwwhhhaaat?). Besides the meat and spices you also use tomato sauce, worcestershire, water, and cider vinegar.

Anyway, I suspended disbelief and made it exactly according to the recipe. It turned out okay, but I think the cinnamon taste was too pronounced. Also, the sauce had a weird powdery mouthfeel to it. I can't figure out why. But yeah, it was definitely edible.

Tonight I made some again, only with a tiny bit less cinnamon and a tiny bit less allspice. It's still not exactly to my liking, and the powdery quality is still there. The next time I think I will put in half the cinnamon that the recipe calls for and see how it turns out.