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Celebrate National Pasta Month with Carrabba’s Italian Grill

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RICHMOND, Va. - You have 20 more days to indulge and enjoy all kinds of delicious pasta dishes in honor of National Pasta Month. Chef Cliff Vasos from Carraba’s Italian Grill stopped by to make his restaurant’s signature Pasta Georgio.

MEATBALLS

INGREDIENTS 

  • Olive oil for the baking sheet
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ pounds ground round beef (85% lean)
  • 1 ¾ pounds ground pork

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Position racks in the top third and center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets.
  2. Pulse the onion, scallions, parsley, basil, and garlic together in a food processor fitted with the metal blade about 8 times, or until very finely minced. Add the egg and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Add ¾ cup of water, the breadcrumbs, Romano cheese, salt, and pepper and stir to combine. Add the ground round and ground pork and mix well. Using hands rinsed under cold water, shape the mixture into 36 meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake until the meatballs are browned and show no sign of pink when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 25 minutes. Let cool. (The meatballs can be transferred to an airtight container and frozen up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.)

Penne Georgio 

INGREDIENTS 

  • ¼ cup extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 each Red onion, finely chopped
  • 12 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 can (28 ounces) tomato puree
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ each sliced/charred onion, finely chopped
  • 1 each roasted/peeled red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 each Calabrian pepper (Minced)
  • 1 each red & green bell peppers julienned and sautéed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ pound dried penne pasta
  • 1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • Chopped fine fresh flat-leaf parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil. Add red onion and garlic and sauté on medium-high for about 3 minutes, until the onions soften and become translucent. Add tomato puree, water, salt, pepper, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add cream, butter, charred onion, peppers, and basil. Cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt to taste. Add the Penne and stir well to be sure the pasta separated. Cook according to the package directions, stirring occasionally until al dente.
  4. Time the sauce so it is done about the same time as the pasta. When the pasta is done, drain it well. Return it to its cooking pot, pour in the Georgio sauce, add Romano, and mix well. Place in serving bowl and top with meatballs and mozzarella cheese. Melt cheese in broiler. Top with chopped parsley and enjoy.

For more information, you can visit their website at www.carrabbas.com.

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