Italian Style Cheese and Meat Platter

Easy, make ahead and feeds a crowd – what could be better! This platter is perfect for grazing in that it can be served warm or at room temperature. It also allows your guests to pick and choose what they like to make their own unique creations. I made many of the components the day before and just heated them up for about 5 minutes to take the chill out before our guests arrived. I do like to bake the baguette right before serving to make sure the bread does not get stale or dried out. For me sun-dried tomatoes are a favorite year round and they add a gourmet touch to your platter that is so much better than the store bought chewy types. You can use this exact recipe or mix and match as you like. The Sartori Reserve brand cheese I chose for this dish has a parmesan flavor with a creaminess of a farmhouse cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

Sliced Sausage
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. of Italian sausage, preferably from your butcher department or local butcher. (The brand I used was from Mazzulo’s and it is their Italian Style chicken sausage baked then sliced into bite size pieces.)
Mini Meatballs
1 1/2 lbs. of ground beef
1 cup of oatmeal
2 eggs
1/2 cup of jarred pesto
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
Non-stick cooking spray
Sun-dried tomatoes
6 Roma tomatoes or three regular tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons of rosemary basil infused olive oil or regular olive oil
A sprinkle of kosher salt
A sprinkle of fresh cracked/ground pepper
Garlic
2 heads of garlic with 1/4 inch of the top cut off
A sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper
A sprinkle of olive oil
Cheeses
1 – 7-8 oz. wedge of Ricotta Salata sliced into thin pieces
1-12 oz. log of fresh mozzarella sliced into pieces
1 – 7-8 oz chunk of Sartori Reserve brand of Bellavitano cheese sliced into pieces or your favorite cheese
Roasted red peppers
3 red bell peppers sliced into 1 inch thick long slices, seeds and stems removed
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Serve with
Crackers
1 Baguette thinly sliced on a diagonal
Garnish
Fresh basil leaves to garnish and to also enjoy with the cheeses

Technique

Place sausage link onto a baking sheet, cover and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes or until browned and cooked throughout. Remove and set aside.

Make meatballs by combining all ingredients and roll into mini meatballs. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place into a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 10 -12 minutes until browned. Remove and set aside.

Cut Roma tomatoes into wedges, toss with oil and salt and pepper and place into a preheated oven at 250 degrees for about 2 hours or until mostly dried but still moist.

Remove the stem and seeds from the red peppers and cut into large slices. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and kosher slat. Place onto a cookie sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about an hour or until fork tender and fragrant. Since the oven temperature is the same as the Roma tomatoes, they can be baked at the same time.

Roast garlic by cutting about a quarter off the top of each head to reveal all of the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. Place into a small baking dish, cover and bake in a preheated oven at 250 degrees for about an hour or until tender. Each clove should easily be removed from the head of the garlic. Since the oven temperature is the same as the Roma tomatoes and red peppers, they can be baked at the same time.

Once everything is cooked place all components onto a clean cookie sheet, cover with foil and place into the fridge until ready to serve. About 30 minutes before serving, bake baguette and heat sausage, meatballs, garlic, tomatoes and red peppers to warm. Place the items onto a cookie sheet into a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 5 minutes to warm. Thinly slice baguette on a diagonal and baked in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. While heating, slice the cheeses into thin slices. Remove the cookie sheet from oven once ingredients have been warmed. Slice the sausage into bite sized pieces and begin to arrange the platter as shown above. Serve with your choice or all of the suggestions above.

Suggested Beverage

Try a wine or beer from our Holiday Wine Selection or Holiday Beer Selection.

Chatty Advice

Here is the Mazzulo’s Sausage Story….Mazzulo

Our Authentic Italian Sausage Story

All of our sausage is made here…FRESH!
We use no preservatives and no MSG.

The recipe for our Mild Italian Sausage comes from Brooke’s great Grandpa who began making sausage in his homeland of Sicily in the early 1900’s. Yes, the recipe has stood the test of time for over 100 years! All we do today is use the foundation and continue to create new flavors for you to enjoy!

Mild Italian – Our traditional, delicious Italian sausage also known as “sweet Italian”.

Sicilian – Our Mild recipe, but we add Scallions, Red Peppers & Shredded Romano cheese. It is still a delicious sweet sausage.

Hot Italian – We take this recipe up a notch! It’s got a nice kick to it, but not too overwhelming!

Kielbasa – Our mouth watering, garlic sausage! If you enjoy garlic…we guarantee this will be a favorite!

Italian Chicken Sausage – It’s become one of our customer’s favorites! Our Mild recipe made with ground chicken instead of ground pork. It’s leaner, healthy and delicious!!

If you have a favorite recipe we don’t make, please let us know. We are happy to talk with you about making it for you! Usually, we can have it ready the next day! Who knows, it may become a Mazzulo’s favorite with many of our customers to enjoy!

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