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.




Italian Nachos

To Prepare Pasta Chips - Purchase won-ton wrappers from your local grocery store.  Peel the wrappers apart one sheet at a time and cut them into triangles approximately 3 inches long and 2 inches tall (size will vary based on brand of wrappers).  Drop wrappers into a small fryer (350 degrees F) for about 60 seconds until wrappers float and become crispy.   Be sure that wrappers are not sticking together when they go into the fryer.  Once fried, the wrapper will become chips.  Remove from fryer and place on paper towel to dry.

To Prepare Italian Nachos - Place pasta chips in a mound on a baking sheet tray.  Top chips with sliced jalapenos, sliced pepperoncinis, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, sliced chicken and cooked ground Italian sausage.  Finally, top with shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees F until cheese has turned golden brown.  Be careful not to burn chips.  Remove from oven and top with heated Alfredo sauce and enjoy!

Carino's Italian Nachos
Copycat Recipe

Serves 4-6

7 ounces won-ton wrappers (about 1/3 of a medium package)
canola oil
2/3 cup Asiago cream sauce (recipe follows)
1/3 cup ground Italian sausage, fully cooked
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup Kalamata black olives, sliced
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
1/4 cup banana peppers, sliced

Asiago Cream Sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 1/2 cups Asiago cheese, shredded

To make the Chips:  Separate won-ton wrappers and cut each square in half diagonally to form triangles. Deep-fry wrappers in canola oil until light brown, about 30-45 seconds. Drain on paper towels.

To make the Nachos:  On a large, oven proof dish, place fried wrappers, curled-side down, in a single layer. Top with Asiago Cream Sauce and cooked sausage. Add half of the mozzarella cheese (1 cup). Layer on the tomatoes, olives, scallions and banana peppers.Top with remaining mozzarella and broil at 400 to 500 degrees F. until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

To make the Sauce:  In a cup, combine cornstarch and water. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in bouillon granules and cornstarch-water mixture. Add Asiago cheese and stir until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

Won-ton wrappers can be found in the produce or freezer sections of your supermarket. Asiago is an Italian cheese similar to Parmesan but has a smoother texture and mellower flavor. It can be found in most grocery stores. Use any leftover cream sauce to top steamed vegetables or a baked potato.

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