In Italy, football (calcio) is the most popular sport. However, it’s soccer, not the gridiron great that fans love here in the U.S.
Whether you love soccer or football, pro or college teams (or both), the AFC or NFC, you’ll love these game-day recipes.
Pizzadilla (Pizza Quesadilla)
1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 lg. flour tortillas that just fit inside a cast-iron skillet
3/4 cup homemade or jarred pizza sauce
5 oz. shredded Il Villaggio® Mozzarella cheese
2 oz. grated Il Villaggio® Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
2 basil leaves, roughly torn
Additional toppings (such as crumbled Italian sausage mix), as desired
Adjust oven rack to 6” – 8” below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to low and wipe out excess oil with a paper towel.
Place tortilla in skillet with the rougher textured-side facing down. Spread half of sauce evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Spread half of mozzarella evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Place second tortilla on top. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until crisp on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip with a large spatula.
Spread remaining sauce evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Spread remaining mozzarella and half of parmigiano evenly over tortilla all the way to the edges. Scatter with basil and add toppings (such as sausage) as desired.
Place skillet under broiler and broil until toppings are cooked through and cheese is melted and starting to brown in spots, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining parmigiano. Using a small metal spatula, gently pry edges of pizza, releasing the cheese from the skillet. Peek under bottom. If more crispness is desired, place skillet over medium-heat and cook, swirling pizza and peeking occasionally, until desired crispness is achieved. Slide pizza out onto a cutting board. Cut and serve immediately.
If you haven’t tried truffle fries, you’re missing out! This recipe, however, is baked instead of fried for a healthy spin on this snack favorite.
Baked Parmesan Truffle Fries
2 lg. russet potatoes, hand cut
¼ cup grated Il Villaggio® Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. truffle oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450° F.
Cut potatoes into ¼” – ½” thick restaurant-style wedges. Do not remove the skin.
In a large bowl combine hand-cut fries, parmigiano cheese, olive oil, truffle oil, garlic powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss until evenly coated.
Transfer to a greased baking sheet and spread evenly with the least amount of overlap possible.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and crispy. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. They will continue to crisp up as they cool. Top with a little extra fresh parsley and parmigiano cheese if desired. Drizzle with additional truffle oil if needed and serve.
Italian Parmesan Party Mix
4 cups Crispix Cereal (or 2 cups each: Corn Chex, Rice Chex)
2 cups Wheat Chex
2 cups mini pretzels
2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 cups Cheez-It Grooves original Cheddar (may sub traditional Cheez-Its)
Herb Butter Sauce
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. each garlic powder, garlic salt, dried basil
1/2 tsp. each onion powder, dried parsley, dried oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 cup grated Il Villaggio® Parmigiano Reggiano
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
Preheat oven to 250° F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add all Party Mix ingredients to baking pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all the Herb Butter Sauce ingredients then evenly pour over Party Mix. Toss until Party Mix is evenly coated. Spread mix out into an even layer.
Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with 1/2 cup parmigiano cheese. Toss until evenly coated. Let Party Mix cool completely (cereal will crisp as it cools). Toss with butterscotch chips if desired (you can sample some mix with the butterscotch chips to see if you want to add them to the whole thing).
Store in an airtight container for up to three days then refrigerate if desired. (Parmigiano does not have to be refrigerated immediately due to its low moisture content.)
You can’t have too much finger food on game day. Add these meatballs to your menu.
Fried Italian Cheesy Meatballs
1 lb. medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup freshly grated Il Villaggio® Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup minced parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
4 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plain breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Lemon wedges, for serving
In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool for 5 minutes, then mash.
In a food processor, process the potatoes, cheese, parsley, garlic, nutmeg and half of the beaten eggs. Season with salt and pepper and pulse until well mixed. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, mix with the ground meat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead the mixture into a ball. Cut the ball in half, then roll each half into a 17’-long rope, about 1’ thick. Cut the ropes into 1 ½-inch pieces and roll each piece into a ball.
Put the 1 cup of flour in a shallow bowl, the remaining beaten eggs in a second bowl and the breadcrumbs in a third bowl. Dredge each turkey meatball in the flour, then dip in the egg and coat with the breadcrumbs. Arrange the coated meatballs on a baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 inch of oil to 375°. Working in two batches, fry the meatballs, turning, until golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt; serve with lemon.
We would be remiss if we didn’t suggest a simple cheese plate. Choose from a variety of Il Villaggio® cheeses and serve with crackers (including gluten-free options), grapes and mustards.