With only a few Sunday Night Football games left in the season, the competition is getting hot. To heat things up even more, chef Donatella Arpaia is cooking up two tasty game-day dishes on this week's installment of TODAY Food Loves Football. She's whipping up a football-shaped meatball calzone with spicy red sauce and seasonal vegetable crudité with a creamy herb dip.
I love this dish because it takes my Italian heritage and melds with the all-American football tradition. You can prep a lot of it ahead and pop it in the oven right when guests start to come in. It's a huge crowd-pleaser — people go crazy for it. There are never any leftovers!
Crudités have gotten a bad rap because, well there are a lot of bad ones out there, but if you buy seasonally and avoid precut vegetables (which are more expensive and not as fresh), you will have the perfect starter for a football party. Everyone has so many allergies and preferences today it's good to balance out heavier football fare with a great crudités.
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