Super Bowl Sunday Kitchen Counter Tailgate

Recipes and wine pairings worthy of the Vince Lombardi Trophy.


We all know where most of America will be on Super Bowl Sunday, watching the big game on TV. And with this yearly iconic spectacle comes the anticipated clever commercials that for some are maybe more entertaining than the game itself!
Family and friends will join many of us as we cheer on our favorite team until we are hoarse and all that energy will require food fuel to keep things at a fever pitch. There will be the predictable favorites like chips, dips, wings and pizza.  
How about adding some fresh fun into the food mix this year and throw a kitchen counter tailgate with some nifty finger foods that can be made ahead of time?

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Mary Ann Esposito is the beloved host of America's longest-running cooking show, Ciao Italia.

Pita Pizza Wedges

Spaghetti Frittata Squares

Sweet Bell Pepper Bites

Italian Sausage and Grapes on a Stick

The best part is that everyone helps himself or herself! Here are some ideas to make this year’s game the tastiest ever!

Pita Pizza Wedges
Makes 32 wedges
Split open 4 pita breads to make two rounds using a kitchen scissors to cut around the outside edge of each pita bread. Place them in single layers on baking sheets and top each with a couple of tablespoons of your favorite tomato sauce; add shredded cheese, sliced mushrooms or other toppings. Bake them in a pre-heated 350F oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Use a scissors to cut each one in half and then in quarters. Serve with a Chianti  (try Banfi) or a Rioja.

Spaghetti Frittata Squares
Makes 16 squares
Olive oil
6 large eggs
2 cups cooked spaghetti
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Dash hot red pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Line an 8 x 2 inch square pan with aluminum foil and allow the foil to over hang the sides. Brush the foil with olive oil and set aside.
Heat oven to 350F.
In a large bowl beat the eggs with a whisk until fluffy; stir in all the remaining ingredients and pour evenly into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is nicely browned and knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let rest about 20 minutes then carefully lift the foil at the outside edges and remove from pan. Cut the frittata into 4 equal sections lengthwise and crosswise to make 16 squares. Serve warm or room temperature with a crisp Prosecco or Riesling.

Sweet Red Bell Pepper Bites
Makes 12
3 large sweet red bell peppers 

1/2 pound Genoa salame, diced
14 cup chopped oil cured olives
3 tablespoons minced thyme leaves

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper 

1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil 

2/3 cup grated Provolone cheese
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. 
Oil a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
Stem and cut the peppers lengthwise in half and then in quarters and remove the seeds and white membranes. Arrange the quarters skin side down in the prepared dish.
In a food processor, add the salame, olives, and thyme. Pulse to create a thick paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread the paste evenly in the pepper quarters.
Bake for 45 minutes or until the peppers are tender when pierced with a fork.
Sprinkle the cheese over the top and continue cooking until the cheese is melted.
Serve warm with a glass of Zinfandel, South American Cabernet Sauvignon or Malbec.

Italian Sausage and Grapes on a Stick
Makes 8 (recipe can easily be doubled)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausages
2 cups seedless red or green grapes
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the sausages until nicely browned.  Add grapes. Remove to cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes then cut each one into 8 round slices. Thread the sausages and grapes on long toothpicks so there are 4 sausage rounds and 4 grapes on each toothpick. Serve on a platter and accompany with a glass of Pinot Noir or Shiraz.
Mary Ann Esposito is one of America’s most beloved television chefs. Through her long-running PBS program Ciao Italia and appearances on other television programs including  The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, QVC, the Food Network, Discovery Channel, Fox, Martha Stewart Radio, RAI International, The Victory Garden, Simply Ming, and so many others, she has been able to share traditional Italian cooking with audiences around the world.
Mary Ann has worked beside world-renowned chefs like Julia Child, Todd English, Daisy Martinez, Sara Moulton, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan, and countless others who share the same passion for cooking. Mary Ann is the author of 12 cookbooks. Her most recent, Ciao Italia Family Classics, is available here. For more information visit Ciao Italia and on Facebook.

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  • In my part of Europe, we like to drink wine with our soup bowl. What is this "Super Bowl"?
    Harold T.

    Jan 30, 2015 at 6:23 AM

  • The Super Bowl in the US is a football game played each year between the best two football teams in America.

    Jan 31, 2015 at 2:13 PM

  • Snooth User: Mark Wine
    1629582 14

    its fantastic bowl thanks for the recipe will have to try

    Mar 05, 2015 at 12:22 AM

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