Italian Nachos (Johnny Carino's copycat)

Italian Nachos

A few years ago we were making several visits to Bend Oregon and we used to frequent a restaurant called Johnny Carino's. Maybe you have one near you? I haven't been there in quite a while but when we did go there, Italian Nachos were on the appetizer menu and they were delicious!

The chips were made from fresh lasagna noodles. They have a very interesting texture when deep fried and they are much lighter and crispier than corn chips. I thought to myself, there has to be a way to make these at home. Hey wait! I have a kitchen-aid with a pasta maker attachment and a deep fryer. I can make this!

This time I took a short cut with the recipe because I was making them for Halloween and I was extra busy. I didn't want to mess with making pasta so I used store bought egg roll wrappers! They are noodles after all.

I cut them into triangles and they were ready to drop in the fryer.

So you know those crispy fried wonton pieces that you often get at Chinese restaurants usually drizzled with that crazy red sweet and sour sauce no one can quite make right at home? This a whole sheet pan full of them!

I fry 6-8 triangles at a time in my large deep fryer and it goes really quickly. The noodles fry in about 30 seconds each at 350 degrees. I slip them into the oil one at a time and then push them down into the oil as they pop back up and start floating, flipping them once quickly. I lift them up with the fryer basket and let them drain well before turning them out onto a sheet pan lined with paper towels or parchment paper.

I used about half the package of egg roll wrappers for this recipe. If you want to make these a day or so ahead they can be stored in a plastic bag after they have completely cooled and will keep for 1 or 2 days. Heating them up will refresh them when you cook the Italian Nachos. Here's a great idea to use up any leftover egg roll wrappers you might have. Try my Ricotta Stuffed Wontons.

Earlier I had browned some sweet Italian sausage and made a marinara sauce that I would use in place of taco meat and salsa on my nachos. I also rinsed and drained a can of cannelini beans and prepared some red onion, sliced peperoncini's and sliced black olives for topping the nachos.

All right now we're really prepped and ready to finish this up.

Let's start piling on those toppings!

First I add 1/2 of the chopped red onion, cannelini beans, olives and peperoncini's.

Then I top that with the first layer of shredded mozzarella.

Now I add the sweet Italian sausage, marinara sauce, and then the rest of the toppings followed by more Mozzarella cheese. Save a few black olives and peperoncini's for garnishing the very top.

After a few minutes in a 450 degree oven it's gorgeous!

This is such a great twist on nachos. It's so flavorful with the sweet Italian sausage and peperoncini's and who can resist all that gooey cheese? Did I mention what great party food this is? You can prep the ingredients a day ahead of time and put it all together quickly for an impressive hot appetizer.

Cheers!

~Melisa

Italian Nachos (Johnny Carino's copycat)

Ingredients

1/2 of a package of egg roll wrappers or fresh lasagna noodles

(cut into triangles and deep fried)

1 pound sweet mild Italian sausage (crumbled and browned)

1 large jar of marinara sauce (or make your own if you feel like it)

1 small can sliced black olives

1/2 cup sliced peperoncini's

1/2 a red onion diced

1 can cannelini beans rinsed and drained

2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (or more if you like)

Method

Layer the ingredients as you would making traditional nachos.

First the chips, then 1/2 of each of the peperoncini's, black olives,

chopped red onion, beans and cheese.

Next add the cooked,crumbled Italian sausage and marinara sauce. Then finish with the rest of the toppings, more cheese and a garnish of black olives and peperoncini's.

Bake the nachos at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes keeping a close eye on it so that it doesn't get too brown but is nice and bubbly and gooey when you take it out of the oven.

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Copywrite © 2019 by Melisa Smith