A popular appetizer at restaurants like Johnny Carino's and Macaroni Grill, we've demystified the Italian nacho so you can serve it at your next game day get-together. With a super-simple garlic Asiago cream sauce and easy-to-make "pasta" chips, you'll be this Sunday's MVP.
Italian nachos recipe
- Oil for frying (use oil with a neutral flavor, like canola or shortening)
- 1/2 (12 ounce) package square wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally to make triangles
- 3-4 tablespoons water, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered chicken bouillon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 dash white pepper or to taste
- 2 large cloves roasted garlic, well mashed
- 3/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
- 1/4 cup pepperoncini slices (we grilled ours)
- 1/4 cup black olives (sliced if desired)
- 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced (we used cherub tomatoes cut in half)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Note: While the flavor is slightly different and you may have to adjust the amounts, you can use black pepper almost anytime white pepper is called for. White pepper is frequently used to avoid putting black specks in white sauces.
- In a medium heavy-bottom pot, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat to about 375 degrees F. You'll know the oil is heated well enough by dunking the corner of 1 of your wontons in. If the wonton starts to bubble up instantly, it's hot enough. Fry the wontons in small batches of 3 to 6 (as many as you can fit into your pan without them touching, but not so many you can't get to them in time). Fry them until they're golden brown and crispy, and then place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Set them aside to finish draining and cool.
- In a small dish, thoroughly mix 1 tablespoon of water with the cornstarch and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the cream to a warm temperature (do not allow it to boil and stir it frequently to prevent scorching).
- Add the cornstarch water, bouillon, salt, pepper and mashed garlic, and stir until slightly thickened (about 1 minute).
- Slowly add the Asiago cheese, a small handful at a time. Allow it to melt into the sauce, and then add a tablespoon of water, and then more cheese. If necessary, you can add up to 2 more tablespoons of water, but don't get it too thin or it won't stick to the nachos well.
- To assemble the nachos, arrange the chips on 1 very large or several small plates and top the chips with a little sauce, the Italian sausage, pepperoncini, black olives, tomatoes and mozzarella.