Carrabba’s Makes Me Feel Lucky – Good Food and Good Company

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Doesn’t sharing a meal with good friends make you feel lucky?  And what better meal than pasta?  Pasta is one of our favorites.  It’s delicious, easy and fun to make.  There are endless combinations of pasta, vegetables, sauce and meat that can please anyone and everyone!  It doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or a meat lover, there is an Italian dish that fits everyone’s taste.

Our family has signature Italian recipes of our own that vary from the Tuesday night quick-and-easy recipe using sauce in a jar (but we always add fresh tomatoes and veggies like mushrooms and onions) to my brother’s complicated cook-it-for-hours recipe.  He was in town recently and while staying with my mom, he cooked up a batch for us.  Using fresh vegetables, spicy italian sausage and a few secret ingredients, he creates a spicy masterpiece that simmers for at least four hours.  My five year old daughter, Rosie, loves pasta “plain, plain, and plain”.  When we order in a restaurant, she always says, “plain, please.  no butter.  no cheese.  no sauce.”  And she loves several types of pasta – spaghetti is the old standby, but penne is the current favorite.

Here is our favorite nothing-fancy pasta sauce recipe:

1 pound Ground Beef
1 large Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 (1 pound) cans Tomatoes, chopped
1 (8 ounces) can Tomato Sauce
1 (12 ounces) can Tomato Paste
2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning (Oregano, Basil)
1/4 teaspoon Pepper

When we don’t have time to cook, we still love to eat Italian.  Even though this is an established restaurant chain, Carrabba’s Italian Grill is a relatively new Italian restaurant to our area.  Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola founded the first Carrabba’s Italian Grill in 1986 in Houston, Texas. Today, there are 232 Carrabba’s Italian Grill locations around the country.

Founders of Carrabba's

Carrabba’s serves fresh, made-to-order Italian cuisine and the ultimate dining experience, pairing innovative dishes with an extensive wine list.  Carrabba’s also offers convenient Carside Carry-Out.

I just took the fun Carrabba’s Pasta Personality Quiz on Facebook and it chose Carrabba’s Tag Pic Pac for me!  It is a classic with a tasty twist, perfect for someone who likes to put their own twist on things! You’re vivacious with zest for life. And since you like everything in life to be full-flavored, you wont be let down when you taste this tagliarini pasta with Picchi Pacchiu sauce.  Sounds delicious!  Take the quiz and see what comes up for you!

I think I would complement my Tag Pic Pac with Peach Sangria, check out this description:  Peach Sangria – Carrabba’s new light and fruity Peach Sangria blends Copper Ridge White Zinfandel, Absolut Apeach vodka and Patrón Citrónge with a splash of citrus. Topped with a fresh lemon wedge and strawberry, it’s a taste of the Amalfi Coast in spring.  And the finishing touch?  This Limoncello Bread Pudding, of course!

Here’s more about the Signature Pasta Meals and New Limited Time Offers at Carrabba’s:
Signature Pasta Meals, featuring seven distinctive dishes served with choice of soup or fresh salad starting at $10.
CARRABBA’S PASTA: Carrabba’s makes every pasta dish by hand with the freshest ingredients.  Pasta is cooked perfectly every time and signature sauces are made from scratch daily. Creative flavors and combinations of ingredients are part of Carrabba’s authentic family recipes as well as new creations.

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Now through July 2011.
Featured Signature Pasta Meal:
Pasto Rambo – Named for the chef who created it, it’s made with shrimp tossed with imported Italian linguine, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes sautéed in our basil lemon butter sauce. Lobster is available instead of shrimp for an additional cost.

Other Limited Time Offers:
Parmesan-crusted Chicken – Topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a hand-prepared lemon vinaigrette, served with choice of side. Substitution of wood-grilled chicken also available. Pairs well with Estancia Pinot Grigio.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Three pork tenderloin medallions wrapped with prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce, served with the vegetable of the day. Pairs well with Coppola Pinot Noir.

Limoncello Bread Pudding – Back by popular demand! Brioche bread pudding made with fresh Madagascar vanilla beans and a rich custard, served hot out of the oven. Topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Carrabba’s homemade Caravella Limoncello liqueur sauce.

To learn more about Carrabba’s, please visit   Follow Carrabba’s on Twitter: @Carrabba’s Carrabba’s on Facebook:

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here,

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