Bacon-Wrapped Parmesan Dates with Negroamaro
- 250 g piece PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO CHEESE, cut into 18 slightly-smaller-than-date-sized sticks (about 2.5- by 0.5-cm)
- 18 pitted DATES (preferably Medjool)
- 6 BACON SLICES, cut crosswise into thirds
- Special equipment: 18 wooden picks
- 1. Stuff and wrap dates. Stuff 1 piece of cheese into each date, then wrap 1 piece of bacon around each date, securing it with a pick. Arrange dates 1 inch apart in a shallow baking pan [can be made one day ahead to this point; refrigerate and cover dates with plastic wrap].
- 2. When ready to bake for the party, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 230°C. Spread dates with space between them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- 3. Bake 5 minutes, then turn dates over with tongs and bake until bacon is crisp, 5 to 6 minutes more. Drain on a paper kitchen towel. Serve immediately and warn guests to wait a few minutes so as not to burn their tongues.