There are nachos -- your go-to plate when it's just you and a few friends.
Then there are lasagna nachos -- your go-to plate for you and a few friends so long as those friends are not full-blooded Italians.
My Italian grandmother, who died in 1992, just died again. https://t.co/23uwDpW2S3— Frank Pallotta (@frankpallotta) February 1, 2018
Olive Garden has unveiled an Italian-inspired "dish" billed as "Loaded Pasta Chips" -- which are essentially nacho chips made from pasta -- as a hopeful addition to America's traditional Super Bowl fare.
And it's not exactly a hard sell.
The dish consists of a generous heap of pasta chips, enrobed in melted mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with just enough space for a three-meat Italian tomato sauce already loaded with chicken, meatballs, sausage, and cherry peppers, plus just a delicate drizzle of alfredo sauce. Fresh parsley and a careful sprinkling of Pecorino Romano and Parmesan for a finishing touch.
Like most Super Bowl cuisine, the stipulations are simple: It must taste good; it must hold well on cheap paper plates or hands; and, when serving said cuisine, calories and general health concerns should be treated as afterthoughts.
And by those standards, Olive Garden's Loaded Pasta Chips fit the bill. Gluttonous, gratuitous, and a visual spectacle.
The writers at Foodbeast already signed off on the dish themselves and reported in considerable detail of the "more savory than spicy" pasta chips. When paired with the "creamy, nutty Alfredo," the wonton-like chips create a welcoming "harmony" with the hearty meat sauce. The dish is of generous proportion and, given how much goes on top of the chips, it is "incredibly rich" and can be shared or eaten in one ambitious solo mission.
But just how rich is this loaded pasta nacho dish?
According to Olive Garden's menu, the dish will set you back 1,520 calories, which on Game Day is just a starter. You still have a rack of ribs, wings, beer, and pizza to get through, and any devil-may-care food challenges you may incur from fellow Super Bowl viewers.
But, still, these loaded nachos are certainly worth a try for just $8.49, but be forewarned -- there are no safeguards in place in the event that you enjoy the dish in its entirety all by yourself.