Pizza chains are broadening their menus with value-oriented pastas designed to beat veto votes.
This article first appeared in the 1 July 2009 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Sausage and Shells Pomodoro (pictured above)
Pizza Inn, The Colony, Texas. The buffet concept added three family-style pastas to its carryout-and-delivery menu in March. At $13.99 with breadsticks, this preparation offers a hearty portion of shell pasta and Italian sausage dressed in a blend of marinara and Alfredo sauces and topped with Italian seasonings and melted mozzarella.
Chicken Carbonara BreadBowl
Domino's Pizza, Ann Arbor, Mich. Launched in April, Domino's unique line features five penne dishes baked in lightly seasoned bread bowls; a build-your-own option is available as well. This rendition pairs the pasta with all-white-meat chicken, bacon, onions, mushrooms and Alfredo sauce. The individual portions cost $5.99 each.
Premium Bacon Mac ‘N Cheese
Pizza Hut, Dallas. The top-ranking pizza chain on R&I's Top 400 list now menus four Tuscani Pastas, each serving four people with breadsticks for $12.99 (or diners can combine half-portions for $1 more). This baked take on the family favorite, launched in September, delivers corkscrew-shaped pasta blanketed in Cheddar sauce with crispy bacon.
Fazoli's, Louisville, Ky. This meatless entrée, menued with unlimited breadsticks for $5.99, is one of 11 new pastas the 20-year-old quick-service chain introduced in February. Cheese-filled tortellini are tossed with sun-dried-tomato sauce, pesto, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes and finished with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.