Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The versatility of pasta

I love pasta!  Not only is it inexpensive, but it is so versatile.  You can eat it hot or cold; with red sauce, white sauce, or lightly tossed with oil or mayo or salad dressing; and you can add just about anything to it to create a plethora of dishes.  My new favorite pasta dish is a Greek pasta toss, which can be eaten hot, but is even better the next day, eaten cold.  I created it one day when I had to go shopping, but also had a huge jar of Kalamata olives and a big tub of feta to use up.  Here is the recipe:

2 - 6 ounce cans of tuna, drained
1- 16 ounce box of rotini pasta (can substitute other shapes), cooked and drained
12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 clove minced garlic
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 a fresh lemon, juiced and zested (you can omit the zest and use bottled juice, but fresh is best)
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (adjust to taste)

1) Combine pasta, olives, pine nuts, garlic, basil, parsley and lemon zest.
2) Toss gently with olive oil and lemon juice.
3) Sprinkle feta on top.
4) Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve cold :)

Speaking of pasta dishes, Carrabba's has a fun Pasta Personality Quiz up on their facebook page.  I took it and received these results:

"You’re truly one of a kind, like Carrabba’s Penne Franco. You like to keep things fresh and exciting. So next time you want to try something new, choose our unique Penne Franco: penne with mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and ricotta salata."

Check out Carrabba's other 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:

Whether making it at home or enjoying out at a restaurant, like Carrabba's, pasta is sure to satisfy.

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.


  1. Wow Danielle, wish I had ingredients like yours...pesto, feta, kids would be in heaven, this is some of their very favorite things. I'll have to give this a try.

  2. We don't usually have olives on hand, at least kalamata olives, but the Easter Bunny brought me 2 big jars that he bought at Sam's for a great price ;) I love feta though and always have that on hand. I usually pick that up at Sam's too or when the grocery store has it BOGO.