Snacks to Score a Touchdown

Football season is upon us! Whether you have weekly viewing parties or are planning one big Superbowl bash, an important part of a successful football party (besides your team’s victory!) is the food. These simple finger foods, made with Il Villaggio cheeses, will have your guests smiling even in defeat.

Everyone loves spinach dip. Our recipe of the month, made with Il Villaggio Mascarpone and Mozzarella, is easy to whip up. Try serving it inside of a hollowed-out loaf of Italian peasant bread. Make sure to keep the extra bread to scoop up the dip!

Mozzarella sticks are always a favorite. They can sound intimidating to make, but it’s relatively easy to make a tasty oven-baked version. Simply slice mozzarella into sticks, freeze (to prevent them from melting too much in the oven), coat in eggs and breadcrumbs mixed with your favorite seasonings, and bake.

To really score a touchdown, try our Mediterranean-style cheesy pull-apart bread! This easy appetizer will have your guests popping balls of cheesy goodness well past halftime.

Mediterranean Pull-Apart Bread

Ingredients:
⋅ 1 package pre-made biscuit dough
⋅ 1/2 lb bacon
⋅ 7 tbsp unsalted butter
⋅ 1 tbsp dried oregano
⋅ 1 tsp dried basil
⋅ 1 tsp garlic powder
⋅ 1/3 cup (8-10) oil packed sundried tomatoes, chopped
⋅ 1/3 cup (12-16) kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
⋅ 1 cup chopped green onions (about 6)
⋅ 1.5 cups dry grated Il Villaggio Parmesan cheese
⋅ 1/2 tsp red chili powder
⋅ 36 nickel-sized pieces Il Villaggio mozzarella

Instructions
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Dice bacon into chunks and fry in a non-stick skillet until cooked through and fat is rendered out. Set bacon aside; drain the bacon grease straight into a small bowl. Melt the butter into the bacon fat.

In a small bowl, combine the bacon, kalamata olives, and green onions.

In another small bowl, combine the Parmesan, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and basil.

Place the biscuit dough on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 36 pieces. Flatten each piece, and form into a ball around each cube of mozzarella.

Sprinkle roughly a quarter of the bacon and olive mixture into the bottom of a large, ungreased bundt pan. Roll a dough ball into the butter/bacon grease, then roll in the Parmesan herb mixture. Place into the bundt pan, and repeat until the bottom of the pan is just covered (about 8-9 balls).

Top with more of the bacon and olive mixture. Repeat the process with the dough, adding bacon and olives between layers, until dough is gone.

Sprinkle any remaining butter and Parmesan herb mixture over the top.

Bake for 12-14 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm.

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