March 23, 2009

Copycat Carrabba's Pappardelle Campagnolo

I am feeling a bit better today; more like myself. I still have coughy, sneezy, congestion going on...but it is not as bad as it has been the past few days. I actually feel like doing stuff. I took my son to the park this morning for a couple of hours, and I plan to fritter away the rest of the afternoon getting the house back on track (i.e. organized). I have a ton of laundry to do; and luckily, my new washer and dryer will be here some time tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be a early delivery so I can tackle the laundry as soon as they get hooked up. I am so darn excited!!! Anyway, enough recounting my household chores and fantasizing about my new appliances...let's move on to dinner.
I found this recipe a month or so ago on (no surprises there). I have been chomping at the bit to try it out, since the other Carrabba's copycat recipe I made from that site turned out to be completely delicious. I love the concept of restaurant-quality food that you can easily make at home. Let's face it, going out to dinner is hard on the ol' pocketbook. Add a feisty three year old to the mix, and it makes the whole experience less than enjoyable. I would rather save our money and just eat quality food at home...without all the hassle.

This dish seems like it will deliver the concept of restaurant-quality at home. Tomato sauce and goat cheese is one of my favorite pairings, so this recipe shouldn't disappoint. Yum! I have some spicy Italian Parmesan chicken sausage that I squirreled away in my freezer, which should be perfect in this dish. For the most part, I am going to stick to the recipe as-is, with one exception. I need to substitute whole wheat linguine in for the pappardelle, but that should be it for my changes (my adapted version is written below). I think for my side dish I am just going to serve this with a romaine salad. I always love adding a tasty pasta dish to my dinner repertoire, so I am curious to see how this turns out.

Copycat Carrabba's Pappardelle Campagnolo
Adapted from recipe #38436(by PanNan)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 links of spicy Italian Parmesan chicken sausage
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium jarred red bell pepper, 1/4 inch julienne
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups whole canned tomatoes (with juice, finely chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons freshly torn basil leaves
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
1 lb pasta noodles (pappardelle recommended, but I am using whole wheat linguine)

Remove sausage from the casing and break into coarse pieces (about 5-6 pieces per link). Pour olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until the sausage has browned slightly. Add onion and red bell pepper and cook until soft and onion turns a rich golden color. Add the wine and let evaporate for 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes and season lightly with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Raise heat and bring sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and let simmer until the sauce has thickened. Stir in basil and set sauce aside.

Meanwhile bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot, add 1 tbsp salt and drop in the pasta all at once, stirring well. When the pasta is almost done, return the skillet with the sauce to a medium heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain it and toss it with the sauce, adding the grated cheese and tossing again. Place the pasta in a serving platter and top with the crumbled goat cheese. Serves 6-8.

The Result:
This was awesome! Really good! Since we did not have the proper noodles (pappardelle), and used spaghetti instead, it was a bit like a riff of spaghetti and meat sauce. However, if the proper noodles were used, it would make the dish more unique. Even with boring spaghetti noodles, it was still fantastic and really easy to put together. Again, I loved the goat cheese. It melted into the sauce, creating a creamy/slightly tangy mixture that was sooooooooo yummy! This dish is definitely a keeper!!!! We all loved it, including my son. Hooray for once again.

No comments: