Carrabba's Italian Grill was founded by Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola in Houston, Texas in 1986. The restaurant features hand-prepared family recipes made from the finest ingredients and prepared to order in an exhibition kitchen. The success of Carrabba's led to the popular PBS cooking show Cucina!, starring Carrabba and Mandola, as well as a series of companion cookbooks. There are currently 240 Carrabba's Italian Grill locations around the country.

Offering Italian-inspired cuisine passed down from our founders’ family recipes, Carrabba’s uses only the best ingredients to prepare fresh and handmade dishes cooked to order in a lively exhibition kitchen. Featuring a wood-burning grill inspired by the many tastes of Italy, customers can enjoy signature dishes, including Chicken Bryan, Spiedino di Mare and a fresh twist on an Italian Classic, Wood-grilled Chicken Marsala. Carrabba’s was voted #1 Italian in the 2014 Consumer Picks Survey by Nation’s Restaurant News.



Champagne Linguine with Shrimp and Scallops

Carrabba’s Copycat Recipe

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces angel hair pasta
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound sea scallops
1 1/2 cups champagne
2 tablespoons minced shallots or white onion
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Meanwhile, heat oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan. Cook and stir mushrooms in oil until tender. Remove mushrooms from pan, and set aside.

Combine shrimp, scallops, champagne, and salt in frying pan; cook over high heat.  When liquid just begins to boil, remove shrimp and scallops from pan.

Add shallots and tomatoes to champagne; boil until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes. Stir in 3/4 cup cream; boil until slightly thick, about 1-2 minutes. Add shrimp, scallops and mushrooms to sauce, and heat through. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Toss hot, cooked pasta with remaining 1/4 cup cream, parsley and shrimp-scallop sauce.   Serves 2-3.

Carrabbas Family Bundles

Bring home a made from scratch family meal. Each bundle includes an entree, salad and fresh baked bread to feed 4 to 6 people. Prices starting at 34.99

The entree choices are:

SPAGHETTI:  Topped with our pomodoro sauce, bolognese meat sauce, meatballs or sausage.

CAVATAPPI CARRABBA: Cavatappi pasta tossed with our made from scratch Alfredo sauce with wood-grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms and peas.

LASAGNE: Only available by calling your local Carrabba's 4 hours in advance. Pasta layered with our pomodoro sauce, meat sauce, ricotta, romano and mozzarella cheese.

CAVATAPPI ALFREDO: Our made from scratch alfredo sauce tossed over Cavatappi pasta.

CHICKEN MARSALA: Wood grilled and topped with mushrooms and our Lombardo Marsala wine sauce. Served with choice of Cavatappi, garlic mashed potatoes, or seasonal vegetable.

CHICKEN PARMESAN: Coated with Mama Mandola’s breadcrumbs, sautéed and topped with our pomodoro sauce, romano and mozzarella. Served with choice of Cavatappi, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, or Seasonal Vegetable.

Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

Carrabba's Italian Grill Restaurant Recipe

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan
1 cup sugar
grated zests of 2 lemons
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
1/2 cup sugar
2 (3 inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

To make the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together in a medium bowl with an electric mixer set on high speed until the mixture is light in color and texture, about 3 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs, then the vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low. In thirds, alternating with two equal additions of buttermilk, add the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the chopped rosemary. Beat just until smooth. Spread in the pan and smooth the top.

Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire cake rack and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the syrup: Bring the lemon juice, sugar, and rosemary springs to a boil in a nonreactive small saucepan over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let boil without stirring until reduced by half, about 7 minutes. Remove the rosemary. Let cool slightly.

Pierce the cake about a dozen times with a long bamboo skewer or toothpick. Gradually pour the syrup evenly over the cake. Let cool for 30 minutes. (or let the cake cool completely.) Invert the cake onto a serving platter and remove the waxed paper. Cut into slices and serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

As part of TLC’s Next Great Baker, David and Elaine Duran were crowned the winners of our Carrabba’s Dessert Challenge. 

For the competition, each team had to create their own summertime spin on our Grilled Tuscan Poundcake, and the prize was to have their winning dessert featured in our restaurants.

The Duran’s Divine Pineapple Poundcake took the winning title, and was available for a limited time at all of Carrabba's restaurants.

Start the dessert by grilling the Tuscan Poundcake. Then top it with pineapple sauce.
Add some fresh whipped cream, and garnish the dish with fresh strawberries.Sprinkle a little  toasted coconut on top. Then garnish it all off with a rosemary sprig.

Squash Casserole

Carrabba's Itlain Grill Restaurant Recipe

1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib,  thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds yellow squash, trimmed, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
soften butter, for the pie dish
1 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook, during occasionally, until golden and the edges are beginning to brown, about five minutes. Stir in the celery and garlic. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is very tender and the juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool until tepid.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter a 9 inch glass pie pan or a 1 quart gratin dish.

Add the seasoned breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, eggs,  scallions,  parsley, salt, and pepper to the squash mixture mix well. Spread in the pie plate.  Top with the plain breadcrumbs and dot with the butter cubes.

Bake until bubbly and the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly, and serve.

Rosemary Potatoes

Carrabba's Italian Grill Restaurant Recipe

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes scrubbed but unpeeled, cut lengthwise into 6 wedges each
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons
2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place an 18 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet pan in the oven and heat for 10 minutes.

Toss the potato wedges, onion, oil, and rosemary in a large bowl. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spread the potato mixture in the hot baking sheet, with the onions underneath the potatoes as much as possible.

Return the pan with the potato mixture to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue baking until they are golden brown and tender, 20 to 30 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.