Carino's Italian is a United States-based chain of Italian food casual dining restaurants. It has more than 170 restaurants with branches in about 30 states. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the concept is owned by Fired Up, Inc., which was founded in 1997 by partners and former Brinker International executives Norman Abdallah and Creed Ford. Prior to 2006, restaurants were called Johnny Carino's Country Italian, Johnny Carino's Italian then changed to Carino's Italian Grill.



Shredded Beef Pappardelle

A very popular dish on our menu that uses braised pot roast 
served with pasta in a burgundy wine and tomato cream sauce.

Carino's Italian Copycat Recipe

Serves 6-10

2-3 pounds lean chuck roast
1 (32 oz) jar marinara sauce (not spaghetti sauce or pasta sauce)
2 (14 1/2 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes
2-3 large carrots
1 (32 oz) box beef broth
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 pound pappardelle pasta
6 large garlic cloves
1 large yellow onion
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
italian seasoning
fresh cracked black pepper
onion powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees or get slow cooker out and set it to high. Season roast with Italian seasoning, onion powder & cracked black pepper set aside. Chop 1/4 of the onion in a dice, chop 4 cloves of garlic set aside. Brown roast on both sides in olive oil over Medium high until it has a nice crust then take it out and set aside. Place diced onion in pan and saute for a couple minutes until almost translucent, then add the garlic saute for another minute . Deglaze the pan with the beef broth getting all the yummy bits off the bottom. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste and let it simmer for a couple minutes. Place roast in Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker and cover with Broth mixture and cook for 2.5 hours until it is fork tender. (This part can be done the day before).

While roast is braising prep for sauce. Slice remainder of onion very thinly and it should be in quarters so there aren't long strips of onion. (if you don't care for a lot of onion texture dice very small). Peel and dice carrots about the size of. large peas. Chop 2 cloves garlic.

Saute Carrots on medium high in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 8 minutes until they start to soften. Add onions continue sauteing for another 8 minutes. Add garlic some salt and pepper and 1 tablespoon sugar keep sauteing on medium low for about 20 minutes or so until they are almost caramelized then set aside.

When roast is done take it out of broth and set aside to cool so it will be easier to handle when you shred it.  At this point if it's same day skim as much fat off the top of the broth as you can then take 3 cups broth and put it in a Pot large enough to put all the marinara, Shredded beef and remainder of ingredients (put remainder in freezer/Fridge for later use in soups or stews) and let it simmer until it reduces almost by 1/2 this will help create a great intense flavor. (If you are cooking the day before put braising liquid in fridge overnite to let the fat separate and remove fat that way.).

Once braising liquid has reduced by half add marinara, vegetables and the canned tomatoes to it, letting the flavors combine stirring frequently over medium heat for about 30 minutes. Put water on to boil pasta. Shred or pull apart Beef with your fingers getting rid of all the fat. Add cream to Marinara then add the beef and stir to combine letting it simmer for a few minutes while the pasta cooks.

Meatballs a la Pizzaiola

Italian Restaurant Recipe

Makes 35-38 meatballs

8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese
2 large shallots, chopped
1/4 cup (5-6) sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained
1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck (80% lean)
1 pound ground pork
olive oil, for frying
vegetable oil, for frying
marinara sauce, warmed, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice the smoked mozzarella into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper until blended. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the beef and pork and, using a wooden spoon or clean hands, stir until combined. Form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Insert 1 cube smoked mozzarella into the center of each meatball and form the meat around it, enclosing the cheese.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, pour equal parts olive oil and vegetable oil to fill the pan halfway. Heat over medium high heat until a deep fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees. In batches, fry the meatballs until dark brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Place the fried meatballs on a foil lined baking sheet. Put in the oven and bake until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly, then serve immediately with marinara sauce, if desired.

Meat Sauce

Carino's Italian Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil  
1 1/2 lbs ground beef    
1 lb ground sausage    
1 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced    
1/2 cup carrots, diced    
2 teaspoon black pepper    
2 teaspoons salt    
1 teaspoon oregano    
1 teaspoon basil    
1 tablespoon garlic, fresh chopped    
1 teaspoon fennel seed ground  
2 quarts (64 oz.) tomato sauce    
1 cup water    
2 teaspoons sugar    
1 (14 oz.) can beef broth    

In a large, heated stock pot add the olive oil, ground beef and sausage.  Brown ground beef slightly. Into the heated pot add the onions, celery, carrots, black pepper, salt, oregano, basil, garlic and fennel.  Saute until meat is thoroughly cooked and all vegetables are soft. Mix the water, sugar and beef broth in a separate container.  Add this mixture and the tomato sauce to the pot.  Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Penne Chicken Alfredo

Carino's Italian Grill Recipe

Alfredo Sauce
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp black pepper
1/4 cup whole milk

Saute heavy cream, milk, and black pepper to a consistent boil. Remove cream mixture from heat and fold in parmesan cheese. Store completed sauce in refrigerator until use.

2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup chopped cooked bacon
1/4 cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, salt, and pepper
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup sliced cooked chicken
1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
10 oz. penne pasta

In a warm saute pan combine butter, mushrooms, bacon, peas, tomatoes, chicken, and spice mixture. Saute until mushrooms are a golden brown and tomatoes begin to dissolve. Add Alfredo sauce and continue to saute until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached. Remove from flame, add pasta, toss, and serve.

Chicken Caesar Sandwich

Carino's Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

1/3 cup mayonnaise
5 jarred marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon style mustard
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons basil pesto
4 fresh onion rolls, cut in half horizontally
2 hearts of romaine lettuce leaves, trimmed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the sauce:  In a small food processor or blender, puree all the sauce ingredients, and then set aside or keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the chicken: In a shallow bowl whisk the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and pesto together. Place the chicken in the marinade, coating both sides, and let marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat the grill to medium.  Grill the chicken, covered, for 6-7 minutes per side, until chicken is no longer pink inside. During the last minute of cooking, place rolls cut side down on the outer edge of the grill rack to toast lightly.

To assemble, spread sauce on the inside of the rolls. Slice chicken and arrange over sauce, topping with romaine lettuce.