Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carrabba’s Italian Grill: Pasta Personality Quiz & Limited Time Features

We love Carrabba's Italian Grill, it was one of the very first restaurants our daughter ever went to, alright so she may have only been one week old, but everyone else enjoyed it!  It was to celebrate my mom's birthday and to thank her for quitting her job and coming out to stay with us while I was on seven weeks of bed rest.  It was a very special meal indeed and the John Cole dessert they brought my mom at the end of our meal is NOT to be missed!  It sounds so simple but is so so good, " Blue Bell vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans." the pecans make it amazing!  I've had it several times.  The Zucchini Fritte appetizer and Mama Mandola’s Sicilian Chicken Soup are both great ways to start the meal.
You might remember that I recently mentioned that we were just there for lunch on Mother's Day.  Italian food is one of my favorite kinds and Carrabba's is a such a family friendly place, with absolutely delicious food and a great activity booklet for our four year old, plus our server brought out pizza dough for her play with while we waited, so fun!  It was the perfect meal, good food and relaxing!  I just love their pomodoro sauce and it was fun to see that Carrabba's Pasta Personality Quiz on Facebook, matched me up with their spaghetti & meatballs.  It was spot on as that was my very favorite meal growing up and it's exactly what ER ordered; it continues to be a well loved dish!
It says that, "You’re genuine and well loved, like Carrabba’s Spaghetti and Meatballs. Your warm and comforting personality makes you everybody’s best friend. So go for our equally popular hand-prepared meatballs over perfectly cooked imported spaghetti."  That's me don't you think☺  It'd be really fun to see what your Pasta Personality is, take the quiz and let me know what your result is in a comment.  I'm curious to know if it matches up as well for you too!

If that doesn't make you hungry enough, here are Carrabba's latest Limited Time Offers, available now through July 2011.  Which will you be trying?  I was THIS close to ordering the Paremsan-Crusted Chicken on Mother's Day, and I'm so glad to hear I have time to go back and try it, sounds awesome, yum...lemon vinaigrette!

Featured Signature Pasta Meal:

Pasto Rambo – Named for the chef who created it, it’s made with shrimp tossed with imported Italian linguine, spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes sautéed in our basil lemon butter sauce. Lobster is available instead of shrimp for an additional cost.

Other Limited Time Offers:

Parmesan-crusted Chicken – Topped with fresh arugula and grape tomatoes tossed in a hand-prepared lemon vinaigrette, served with choice of side. Substitution of wood-grilled chicken also available. Pairs well with Estancia Pinot Grigio.

Prosciutto-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin – Three pork tenderloin medallions wrapped with prosciutto, wood-grilled and topped with an apple and fig infused port wine sauce, served with the vegetable of the day. Pairs well with Coppola Pinot Noir.

Limoncello Bread Pudding – Back by popular demand! Brioche bread pudding made with fresh Madagascar vanilla beans and a rich custard, served hot out of the oven. Topped with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream and drizzled with Carrabba’s homemade Caravella Limoncello liqueur sauce.

Now Introducing:

Peach Sangria – Carrabba’s new light and fruity Peach Sangria blends Copper Ridge White Zinfandel, Absolut Apeach vodka and Patrón Citrónge with a splash of citrus. Topped with a fresh lemon wedge and strawberry, it’s a taste of the Amalfi Coast in spring.

Locations: Visit www.carrabbas.com for the closest Carrabba’s location. There are more than 230 locations nationwide.

My Family's Signature Pasta Dish: Mom's Pasta Salad:

If that has you thinking about pasta tonight, I'd like to suggest my mom's pasta salad.  It makes an appearance several times during the year, especially at pot lucks and I love it.  I have cravings for it all the time, and the chunks of fresh veggies make it great for a meal with the addition of some grilled chicken.  I'm not sure how the recipe came about, but my mom's been making it for as long as I remember.  It was one of the first recipes I asked her to share when I moved out.
  • 1 box of rotini pasta
  • 3-4 hard boiled eggs
  • three quarters to a whole red bell pepper chopped coarsely
  • 1 green onion sliced thin
  • 1 carrot schredded
  • 1 cucumber quartered and sliced thin
  • half a packet of dry Italian dressing mix
  • light mayonaise
  • Marzetti's Slaw Dressing
  • water to taste
Make box of pasta. Meanwhile, cut and prepare other ingredients. Drain pasta and let cool. Mix it with eggs and vegetables.

To make the pasta salad dressing combine loosely filled half a cup of mayonaisse with slightly less than half a cup of slaw dressing and stir to combine. Add a little bit of water, if you think it's too thick and stir again. If about a cup of creamy dressing seems like a lot, you can reduce the amount of mayonaisse and dressing added but keep in mind it is going on a full box of pasta and quite a bit of vegetables.

Add to pasta, egg, and vegetable mix. Stir to combine. Shake up dry Italian dressing seasoning packet to combine contents and then sprinkle approximately half on top of salad. Stir to combine. Add more mayonaisse if the mixture looks dry. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Helpful Tips from my Mom: Stir the dry Italian dressing into the mayo/Marzetti combination. Use fat-free milk to thin the dressing if it's too thick. But whatever makes sense to you will work. Use 2-3 green onions per box of pasta, depending on your taste. If in a hurry use pre-packaged julienned carrots, instead of shredding.

Tell Me!
Does your family have a Signature Pasta Dish you make over and over, do share!  When we make pasta dishes at home, they tend to usually be cold pasta dishes.  I'm afraid our hot pasta meals usually start with, "Open can," but that's why we love going out to places like Carrabba's, since we can't make anything nearly as tasty at home. 

Their signature pasta dishes are full of rich layers of flavor, the kind that taste like they've been melding together all afternoon and are just so delicious.  If you haven't been to a Carrabba's yet, I highly suggest you do, the whole family will find something to like.  Also, don't forget to also tell me your Carrabba's Pasta Personality Quiz!  I'm going to have my husband take it too, and see if something with alfredo sauce comes up for him, that's always what he orders. 
  
Signature

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Carrabba’s blogging program, for a gift card worth $50. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

4 Friends Said:

Tara said...

I'm spaghetti too! Does that mean we would be great friends in real life?

Stacy@{share and remember} said...

Hi Katie! Thanks for stopping by my post & checking it out. I'm sure I'd enjoy your salad too, I love pasta salads!

malia said...

katie, i am not sure how i am supposed to make it to dinner after that post! yummy.... that little er is such a dollface. is she excited to be a "BIG"?

RoS said...

Well, I was inspired by your post and made the pasta salad for company today. I really like the pasta shapes that I used this time for ease of serving: Barilla's mini Penne and mini Farfelle (bowties). They each cook for 7 mins., so it was easy to combine both shapes. I think it looks really cute and festive. Since I made it yesterday, I'll be adding a touch more dressing today because the dressing gets absorbed into the pasta overnight.

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