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Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta

1 loaf Italian bread, such as ciabatta or semolina, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups shredded mozzarella or smoked mozzarella cheese*
3 cups shredded smoked provolone or provolone cheese*
(*This recipe calls for one of these two cheeses to be smoked and one to be regular)
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. grated Romano cheese
8 tsp. fresh diced tomatoes
Fresh chopped parsley

   Arrange sliced Italian bread flat on a baking sheet and cover with foil. Set aside until ready to use. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Combine sour cream, thyme, red pepper, cayenne pepper, and four cheeses in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. If serving family-style, spray an 8 x 10-inch casserole dish with pan spray, then use a spatula to transfer the mixture. For individual servings, spray eight individual heat-resistant serving bowls, such as soufflé cups, with pan spray and fill each with 1/2 cup of mixture. Place individual bowls on a baking sheet. Using a large spoon, spread cheese mixture to create an even surface. Place casserole dish or baking sheet with individual bowls on center rack in oven. After five minutes, place baking sheet with bread, still covered, on top rack in oven. Bake for an additional five minutes. Remove bread and fonduta from oven. Garnish casserole dish with diced tomatoes and parsley in center of fonduta or divide evenly among smaller bowls. Arrange bread slices around bowl(s) and serve immediately. Serves 8.

 


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