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.

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Marinara Sauce


MARINARA SAUCE
Carrabba's Copycat Recipe

1/3 pound ground turkey
1/3 pound ground chicken
2 eggs
1/2  cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
salt
garlic powder
ground black pepper
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons thinly chopped garlic
1/2 cup pureed celery
1/2 cup pureed carrot
2 small cans of diced tomatoes
1 small can hunts tomato paste
4 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
1 1/2  sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 large can of crushed tomato
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 grated Romano cheese

Make meatballs: In a medium bowl combined meat. Then add eggs and mix until eggs are spread evenly. Pour breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese into mixture. Season the meat with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Shape mixture into meatballs. Cook at 35- degrees for about 25 minutes. (Meatballs will not be completely finished but they will finish cooking when added to sauce.)

Using the same pan, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until onion is golden brown. While onion and garlic are sauteing, combined tomato paste and beef stock in a small bowl, mix until paste is spread evenly. Then pour over onion and garlic.

Add the thyme, bay leaves, oregano, basil and red pepper. Mix well. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer. While mixture is simmering, place a small saucepan over medium heat and saute celery and carrots in olive oil. Once celery, diced tomatoes, and carrots are extremely soft, puree them.

Pour pureed vegetable mixture, sugar, crushed tomato, and meatballs into sauce mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally and add more liquid if needed. During the last 30 minutes or cooking, re-season with salt and pepper and stir in the cheese. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

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