Bowtie Festival Copycat Recipe (a La Johnny Carinos)

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Bowtie Festival Copycat Recipe

One of my very favorite Italian (Or American-Italian) dishes is the Bowtie Festival served at Johnny Carinos restaurants around the country. If you’ve never tried the Bowtie Festival, I’ll just say this: It is a wonderful combination of cheeses, pasta, tomatoes, and bacon that you are DEFINITELY missing out on! I used to LOVE Johnny Carinos, but alas, we do not have a Johnny Carinos near us, and thus, I had to start making my own!

I found this great site called Carinos At Home, that fortunately had a copycat recipe for me to try! Instead of using jarred Ragu alfredo sauce, I made my own version, and I tweaked a few other little things. You can view the original recipe HERE if you’re curious ,

To make this dish, I start cooking the chicken, and while it’s in the oven or on the grill, I make my alfredo sauce and chop up veggies. Then, I throw it all together to warm it up and meld the flavors before serving. It sure is scrumptious!

Alfredo Sauce


  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese (this kind in the refrigerateor section, NOT the kind in the green plastic jar)
  • 3/4 C grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Melt butter in a saucepan with olive oil on low heat.
  2. When butter is melted, add garlic, cream, and white pepper then SLOWLY bring mixture to a low simmer, stirring frequently.
  3. Add parmesan cheese while stirring constantly, and allow sauce to thicken. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
  4. When sauce has thickened, add the mozzarella cheese and stir until blended.
  5. Keep warm while preparing the rest of your dish.

Bowtie Festival


  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/2 cup diced cooked bacon
  • 1/2 cup diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced, cooked chicken (grilled is best, but you can bake it also)
  • 1/4 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 C prepared Alfredo Sauce of your choice (I usually just use the whole recipe above, but you can add more or less as you desire)
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon TexJoy (optional) 😉
  • 16 oz bowtie pasta, cooked


  1. In a heated sauté pan, combine butter, garlic, onions, bacon, tomatoes, chicken, and spice mixture.
  2. When onions begin to turn translucent, add heavy cream and Asiago cheese.
  3. Once cheese and cream have reduced by half, add Alfredo sauce and bowtie pasta.
  4. Toss until well combined and remove from heat.  Allow pasta to cool for a few minutes so the cheese and sauce can thicken.
  5. Top with a few sprigs of parsley (for looks) and serve with side salad and a big, thick piece of homemade bread ,

Make It Shelf-Stable

This is a fantastic recipe to try as a shelf-stable or long-term food storage recipe! Although it certainly wouldn’t be as nutritious as fresh, you could substitute jarred alfredo sauce (the original recipe calls for Ragu), powdered butter, dehydrated or freeze-dried garlic, onions, bacon bits, tomatoes (or canned diced tomatoes), and chicken. You can even find freeze dried, shredded mozzarella cheese!

Use the green jarred parmesan cheese and use powdered milk instead of heavy cream. The only ingredient that might give you an issue is the Asiago cheese, which is a hard cheese and can be stored for several months in the freezer if properly sealed, (Same with the parmesan, but I’m trying to stay away from leaning on electricity for this recipe) or you can just leave it out altogether.

In the future, I plan on measuring out the ingredients and making a “Meal in a Jar” of sorts with this recipe so all I would need to do is add water. I can’t wait to see how that turns out!

What About You?

Try it! Let me know what you think! Do you love Johnny Carinos and/or their Bowtie Festival?

Have you tried a DIY version before?

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