Transport yourself to Italy with Italian Nachos topped with hot sausage, mozzarella nacho cheese sauce, fresh tomatoes, and basil. Serve it as an appetizer or as a dinner for two.
One benefit about cooking for myself is I can eat what I want, when I want.
Friends have told me if they were in my shoes, they’d eat pancakes or even cold cereal for dinner.
I have no idea why anyone would want cereal from a box for dinner; I rarely eat it for breakfast (is it me or does it just not fill you up?).
Now I’m pretty good at making real food for dinner. I have my menu planned out for the week with pasta, steak fajitas, soup, chicken, and sometimes the occasional frozen pizza.
However, once in awhile I look at what I have planned and think, you know what? I don’t want this today.
Unfortunately, that happens about 5 minutes before I start to prep dinner, so I’m stuck with a dilemma – either make what I planned and convince myself that yes I do still want it or completely change gears.
Sometimes changing gears means switching around my menu for the week. Other times I go with what I really want that day.
Sometimes I wish they were more acceptable for dinner. There are times where I go out to eat and would much rather order a few appetizers than eat another sandwich.
Although I’m not advocating eating snacks every day for dinner, I do think you should have a few fun meals planned.
Lately I’ve had nachos on the brain as I just love nacho cheese dip and haven’t had any in a long time.
Sticking with the Italian theme, I went with Italian Nachos, topping them with hot Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese sauce, fresh tomatoes, and fresh basil.
Almost like caprese and Italian sausage had an Italian nacho baby.
Too much of an analogy? Probably, but I can tell you one thing – one bite and you’ll instantly feel like you’re Italy, enjoying the sights and sounds of the hills in Tuscany.
These Italian nachos are a twist on traditional Mexican nachos.
Instead of ground beef, I used hot Italian sausage. Instead of cheddar cheese sauce, I made mozzarella nacho cheese sauce. Instead of jalapenos, I used fresh tomatoes and basil. And instead of nachos, Pasta Chips.
The key to a smooth nacho cheese sauce is evaporated milk.
When you make a cheese sauce with regular milk, it stays nice and smooth until it cools down and congeals.
As you reheat it, it starts to separate and now you’re whisking in more milk like a crazy woman to make it smooth again. Not fun.
With evaporated milk, when the sauce cools, it stays smooth. Instead of a thick gloppy mess, it thickens into queso.
Even though I’m trying to convince you these Italian Nachos are dinner, let’s face it – nachos will always be an appetizer or snack to most people.
If it’s just two of you (or just you!), you can serve them along with a side salad or some roasted vegetables to make it a more rounded meal.
- 1/2 pound raw hot Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 bag Garlic and Olive Oil Pasta Chips
- 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped (roughly 3/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the sausage, onion, and garlic, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink, roughly 5 minutes.
- While the sausage is cooking, make the cheese sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the evaporated milk until hot (but not boiling). Whisk in the cheese, cornstarch, and salt until smooth and cheese is completely melted (if it's too thick, whisk in a little more milk). Keep warm.
- When sausage and cheese sauce are done, arrange enough Pasta Chips to cover a big plate. Top with half of the sausage mixture, warm cheese sauce, tomatoes, and basil. Top with more Pasta Chips and repeat (you may not use all of the Pasta Chips or cheese sauce). Serve immediately.