Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Secret Family Spaghetti Recipe

I had the fun opportunity to take the Facebook Carrabba’s Pasta Personality quiz, and big surprise, I am Spaghetti and Meatballs, LOL:) I hope each of you will take a moment to take the quick 5 question quiz as well. Just click the link, like the page on Facebook, and the quiz will pop right up! Since my husband is Italian, this is a staple in our home, and the kids just love it. Nick, Aaron, and Joshua would eat this three or four times per week if I'd make it that often! I try to mix it up and add other ingredients in to various types of pastas so it isn't the SAME meal each time. Just changing the pasta and cheese is sometimes enough to make it different.

Your Pasta Personality is…

Spaghetti and Meatballs

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.

Now Nick would have a fit if I shared our EXACT secret family marinara recipe with the world on my blog, but I will tell you the primary ingredients. This core of this recipe has been passed down through generations on the paternal side of his family. His grandparents came to America before his father was born, so he is second generation American.

Secret Family Spaghetti Recipe 
1 pound ground beef
1 pound Italian Sausage
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar spaghetti sauce (my improvisation)
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
Secret mixture of herbs and spices
Salt and sugar added as needed 
(I also use this opportunity to blend some veggies such as broccoli, spinach, etc that the kids don't like to eat alone, and I pour it into the sauce. Once it's cooked they don't even know it's there, but I love knowing that they are getting the nutrients that they need!)

I brown the ground beef and sausage in a pan together and drain. In a separate pan, cook the onions and garlic together until clear. In a large saucepot, mix the spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and herbs and spices. Cook on low until meat and onions are done, then add all items to the large pot and simmer on low for about 4 hours (can also put in slow cooker). If mine is on the stove, I stir in about every 30 minutes.

When it is ready just boil your pasta and serve with Italian Bread and a salad. Now this makes more than we can eat in one meal, so when it is cool, I pour the remainder into freezer bags and save for future meals. This is my base marinara sauce for every type of pasta that I make.

When we eat out, Carrabba's is often a favorite of the kids, because it gives them another opportunity to have spaghetti as a meal, and they love the kids menu. Mom and Dad like to have so variety, so I also wanted to share the following limited time special offers with you, especially since these are great and affordable prices:

Carrabba’s Signature Pasta Meals and New Limited Time Offers
Signature Pasta Meals, featuring seven distinctive dishes served with choice of soup or fresh salad starting at $10. There’s no better place than Carrabba’s to enjoy a complete Italian meal – any day of the week.

CARRABBA’S PASTA: Carrabba’s makes every pasta dish by hand with the freshest ingredients.  Pasta is cooked perfectly every time and signature sauces are made from scratch daily. Creative flavors and combinations of ingredients are part of Carrabba’s authentic family recipes as well as new creations.

LIMITED TIME OFFERS: Now through July 2011.
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 SangriaCarrabba’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 for the closest Carrabba’s location. There are more than 230 locations nationwide.

About Carrabba’s:
Johnny Carrabba and Damian Mandola founded the first Carrabba’s Italian Grill in 1986 in Houston, Texas. Today, there are 232 Carrabba’s Italian Grill locations around the country, run by passionate local proprietors focused on delighting guests with fresh, made-to-order Italian cuisine and the ultimate dining experience. Carrabba’s serves dinner seven nights a week in a casual environment that pairs innovative dishes and a complementary wine list with abundant hospitality. For on-the-go guests, Carrabba’s also offers convenient Carside Carry-Out. To learn more about Carrabba’s, please visit

Carrabba’s Pasta Personality Quiz on Facebook - Take the quiz to see how your personality compares to some of Carrabba’s signature pasta dishes!

Follow Carrabba’s on Twitter: @Carrabba’s

Carrabba’s on Facebook:

“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.”

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