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 Italian Grill Copycat Recipe
Makes about 1 1/2 Cups
4 tablespoons walnuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon softened butter
3/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil, leaves only
1/4 cup firmly packed Italian parsley, leaves only
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup grated Pecorino-Romano
Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor, except the cheeses and olive oil. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream and pulse for a few seconds, until will blended but not liquefied. Remove the pesto from the food processor to a mixing bowl and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Romano.
Store in a glass jar or airtight container. Pesto will keep well in the refrigerator for 1 month for 4-6 months in the freezer. Make sure the pesto is covered with at least 1/4-inch of olive oil to prevent the surface from turning brown.