Can I admit something? I don’t really like football. I know, I know, it’s dramatic, it’s exciting, it’s high energy, but there are way too many teams to follow, way too many “important” games and it all becomes a little generic to me. Add in fantasy football and things get even more complicated. Even if I try to cheer for the right team, I end up cheering for the wrong player. Something about points and someone else’s running back that makes me go cross-eyed.

You can imagine my excitement that there are no games on this weekend. Did you hear that? Zero NFL football games. Yes! That means the Super Bowl is coming up and that’s more of a social event than a sporting event, right?

A few years ago I won several gift certificates to Macaroni Grill. I’m pretty sure I used almost all of the money on plates of Italian Nachos. The indulgent fried pasta sheets paired with creamy cheese and the vinegary kick of banana peppers made them hard to resist. Luckily I got my hands on the recipe and tried it at home with mouth-watering success.

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

This recipe made double what you see in the photograph. I had about a cup of leftover cheese sauce that I used in pasta. I’ll share that recipe in an upcoming post.

Nachos di Napoli
From Macaroni Grill
(4-6 appetizer servings)

8 oz. wonton wrappers (about 1/2 a package)
Canola oil
1/3 cup fully cooked Italian sausage, crumbled
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup fresh tomatoes, diced
¼ cup sliced kalamata olives or any black olives
¼ cup chopped scallions
6-8 slices banana peppers

Asiago Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
2 cups heavy whipping cream
½ tsp chicken bouillon granules (or 1 cube)
1 ½ cups shredded Asiago cheese

Stack the wonton wrappers and slice into half diagonally. Deep fry in hot canola oil until light golden brown, drain on paper towels and set aside.

To make cheese sauce, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl, then add bouillon granules; set aside.

In a saucepan, heat the cream. Slowly add cornstarch mixture, mix until thick and slowly add in cheese. Stir until cheese is totally melted and then turn heat to low and stir occasionally.

Arrange chips on a plate and sprinkle with ½ of the mozzarella cheese and drizzle with hot cheese sauce. Arrange another layer of chips on top and repeat mozzarella cheese and hot cheese sauce layer. Sprinkle remaining ingredients evenly over top. Serve immediately.

Cheese sauce makes about 3 cups.