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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hmm... I Can Make This

Greetings from the land of misunderstood dolls with daggers.  I celebrated Tiffany's birthday last night at Carrabba's restaurant.  While her parents elected to feast on a carnivorous meal selection, Tiffany and I both stayed true to our new ways.

Pasta Sostanza

We ordered and shared a Quattro Formaggi  brick oven pizza and Pasta Sostanza.  Of course there was also the Happy Hour buy-1-get-1-free house Cabernet Sauvignon.  Coincidentally, their house Cab is a brand called Copper Ridge.  Unfortunately, Copperridge wine is a special brand made by the Gallo Winery that is only available through restaurants, usually as their "house brand".  But, of course, it can be purchased online.  After all, everything has a price doesn't it?  No... I will NOT sell my dagger!

Quottro Formaggi Pizza - Sundried tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, romano, mozzarella, fontina and goat cheese.  Baked in a 600-degree brick oven.

Pasta Sostanza -  Tagliarini pasta with sautéed mushrooms, artichoke hearts and spinach in tomato basil sauce topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.

Both dishes were exceptional, as with every Carrabba's menu choice.  Particularly tickling my plastic fancy was the Pasta Sostanza.  Truly stupendous and I can honestly recall the pleasurable culinary experience that I had last night when my mind does its' magic.

Yes!  You've guessed it my friend.  I find myself having to replicate that recipe.  So today, Tiffany and I scoured our local market and purchased sufficient ingredient.  We bought some fresh pasta and fresh basil from Eat More Produce.  I had some jarred artichoke hearts in oil from Costco but I want to make it ultra-healthy.  Instead, we dropped by Target to purchase a can of artichoke heart in water.  I already have some fresh mushroom, crushed garlic, and Bragg's no-salt seasoning.

I plan to "wing it" when making my replicate dish.  I'll simply toast some crushed garlic in a Pam sprayed non-stick pan until toasted to perfection.  Then add some crushed tomatoes, Bragg's seasoning, diced mushroom, artichoke hearts, fresh basil and fresh baby spinach.   I'll probably include a few diced kalamata olives.  Simmer on the side while I cook the fresh pasta.  Bring the two together, top it with a skosh of Italian bread crumbs, and see what I end up with.

Hey!  I'll let you know how it goes, okay?

Hi-dee hi-dee dine on it and then try recreating it-ho my culinary vegetarian friends!


  1. Sounds yummy to me. The tomato basil sauce on the picture looks really thick, I was expecting it to be with cream (don't know why). You can buy crushed tomatoes with basil already so that may add more taste it to as well... Good luck

  2. Hi polwig! I stole the pic from online. However, the dish was like you described. It was like taking a can of crushed tomatoes cooked down. Chunks of San Marzano with the pasta being somewhat tomatoey dry. Like the pasta itself absorbed the tomato liquids.

    I like your idea of the basil crushed tomato. I'll probably make my dish on Friday night. I've gone online to find that Carrabba's publishes their Mamma's Pomodoro Tomato Sauce recipe. I shall use it as a base for my recipe except hold off on the 1/4 cup olive oil. Perhaps a tablespoon of 100% organic virgin coconut oil instead?

    When done, I promise to share my recipe and directions that I used provided it's not a total disaster.

    Thank you very much for your thoughts and suggestions. They're truly appreciated.