Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pasta Carrabba Ala Steph Ala Larry

When we bought our whole country ham the other day, we had them cut about a dozen slices as thin procuitto and we've been looking for ways to use it. After seeing Steph’s Pasta Carrabba recipe over at Plain Chicken, I decided I could go for another pasta in cream sauce dish and I thought this might be an opportunity to get creative and use some of the ham. I followed her recipe with three changes – I stuffed the chicken with procuitto and cheese, and I had a extra piece of procuitto which I diced and put into the sauce. As much as I enjoy making the recipes you post, I must start paying better attention. This is the third chicken dish I’ve made recently where I noticed the “marinate overnight” instruction about late morning on cook day, so once again this only got marinated about 6 hours – change number three.

I laid out a slice of the procuitto, added a mix of mozzerella and parmesan and rolled it up. I then cut a pocket into the chicken and inserted the roll with the hope the meat would keep the cheese from running out and then secured the cut with a toothpick. I guess this was a grilled version of Chicken Cordon Bleu.

This is the final recipe, which is pretty much a tripled version of Steph's.

Kicked Up Pasta Carrabba
Adapted from Steph at Plain Chicken
Makes 6 servings


6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
9 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp fresh basil leaves (or 2 tsp dried)
6 Slices procuitto
Sliced or grated mozzerella cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste (I went easy on the salt due to the ham)


6 tablespoons butter
3 medium shallots
1 tbsp minced garlic
¾ cup fresh grated parmesan
3 cup half & half or heavy cream (I used cream)
8 oz fresh mushrooms (I used cremini)
1 ½ cup frozen English peas
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


1 lb package fettuccine
Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Combine vinegar, oil and basil. Pour over chicken in a ziplock bag and marinate overnight (or less if you can't follow directions) in the refrigerator. Grill the breasts (or bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes). Set aside. I grilled them over medium heat to an internal temp of 165*. The finished plate of chicken - the cheese stayed in fine.

Peel and finely chop shallots. Saute in butter 1 minute (I added the pieces of ham here). Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste. Boil to reduce slightly to the consistency of a light sauce, just thick enough to coat a spoon. Add mushrooms, peas, and parmesan cheese and cook another 2 minutes.

Since I was the cook tonight, I made the sauce on the grill side burner while I grilled the chicken and Bev cooked the pasta on the stove.

Cook pasta, drain and shake out excess water. Add to sauce and gently toss.
Put a serving of pasta on each plate, add a little grated parmesan, place chicken on pasta and add a little more grated parmesan. Garnish with basil.

My plate - I remembered the garnish today.

I hate this is blurry, but it gives you an idea of the inside.

Since we were cooking a Steph dish, we decided to start the meal with another of her dishes – Carrabbas Bread Dip, check out her blog for more photos and the recipe. We just made up per her recipe and dipped in some warmed French bread. Since some of my herbs were pretty big pieces, before adding the garlic, I gave them about a 15 second whirl in the coffee grinder that I use for spices. I thought this was as good as any I've ever had in a restaurant.

The bread dip, chicken and pasta were big hits with everyone and I thought they were super good. I've eaten good thanks to Steph's trip to Carrabba's and I have to believe this was better than what they serve. Her blog may be titled Plain Chicken but the dishes she posts are anything but plain - thanks for another great meal.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.



  1. I'm glad someone else does that besides me. I can't tell you how many times I've started a recipe for dinner and get to the part that says "marinate overnight". This looks delicious Larry.

  2. Larry, This looks so good that it is going on my list of things to try soon. Thanks.

  3. I love what you did with the chicken! I'll try that next time.

  4. Aw, Larry, I'm lucky if I remember to marinate for an hour, so don't feel bad about "only" marinating for 6 hours. The chicken looks great, and so does the pasta!

  5. Larry, That chicken not only sounds great,but it looks great too! Ham or prosciutto plus cheese with chicken. My kind of dish... Yummm! You 'da' man...! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  6. Larry, you just keep amazing me with your fearless sense of adventure! I would never have thought of Cordon Bleu on the grill - just you and Chris do tricks like that. :) Love the presentation shot! Very nicely plated.

  7. Wow! This looks rick, decadent, and so delicious. Nicely done!

  8. Dang, Larry, I feel like I just walked in to Johnny Carraba's kitchen here. Excellent job on this one, stunning.


I appreciate and enjoy your comments