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.
Carrabba's Copycat Recipe
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes with juice, chopped
8 mushrooms, diced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained
10 large basil leaves, each torn into 3-4 pieces (Note: Carrabba's uses spinach and not basil.)
1 tablespoon capers (optional)
10 pitted black olives, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon Italian bread crumbs
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized saucepan, place the olive oil and onion over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are soft and translucent and just starting to caramelize. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes, and chopped black olives and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sauce from burning. When the sauce is done, add the salt and pepper to taste. Add the torn basil leaves and cover tightly.
As pasta is cooking, add chopped mushrooms and chopped drained artichoke hearts. When done, drain pasta and add sufficient amount of sauce (1 cup per serving), mixing to sufficiently coat.Transfer to plate or pasta bowl. Sprinkle capers (optional) and Italian bread crumbs prior to serving. Makes 2 quarts of sauce.
Notes: You may add grilled shrimp to this dish.