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.

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Ricotta Cheesecake



RICOTTA CHEESECAKE
Carrabba's Italian Grill Restaurant Recipe

Pastry Dough:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg plus 2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated zest of 1/2 orange
softened butter for the baking pan

Cheesecake:
1/3 cup spiced or dark rum
3/4 cup golden raisins
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
6 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 teaspoon salt

To make the pastry dough: Pulse the flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor fitted with the metal blade to combine. Add the butter and pulse about 7 times until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs with some pea sized pieces. Transfer to a bowl. Mix the egg, yolks, vanilla, and orange zest together in a small bowl. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir the dough clumps together. Gather into a thick disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, 1 to 2 hours.

Lightly butter a 9 by 3 inch springform pan. Generously flour a work surface. Unwrap the dough, place on the work surface, and dust the top with flour. Roll out the dough into a 16 inch round about 1/8 inch thick, being sure the dough doesn't stick to the work surface. Transfer the dough to the pan, lining the bottom and sides with dough. Refrigerate the pan while making the filling.

To make the cheesecake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the run just until warm in a saucepan or microwave oven, add the raisins, and lest stand to plump the raisins for 10 minutes. Drain, reserving the rum.

Line a colander with moistened paper towels. Add the ricotta and cover with more towels. Place a plate to fit over the ricotta. Press firmly to extract 3 to 4 tablespoons of whey from the cheese.

Discarding the whey and paper towels, transfer the ricotta to a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix with an electric mixer set on high speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add the reserved with the breadcrumbs, eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, vanilla, orange zest, and salt and mix just until smooth, about 30 seconds more. Stir in the drained raisins. Pour into the dough lined pan.

Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and continue baking until the top of the filing is golden brown and the crust us shrinking from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes more. Let cool in the turned off oven door held ajar with a wooden spoon for 1 hour. Transfer the pan to a wire cake rack and let cool completely.

Remove the pan sides. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Use a thin bladed knife dipped in cold water between slices to cut into wedges. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

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