Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm still bitter about it

My favoritest restaurant of all time, OF ALL TIME ...

...closed in Rochester. So what that it's been about two years ago, I'm still bitter about it. Every time I go to Rochester, I remember that I can't eat this there anymore....

Penne Rustica. It's the bomb, people, THE BOMB TO END ALL BOMBS!! It is awesome beyond belief. And now that they closed their Rochester store (*insert huge sigh*), I can't remember the last time I've eaten there.
But know what? My wonderful husband (have I mentioned before that he is wonderful??) has made this dish for me several times and I have to say it's pretty dang close to the real thing! If you are ready for a flavor explosion like you've never experienced before, make this. But be prepared. Your house will smell incredible, and your arteries will begin to clog just by inhaling the fumes, but this you should ignore because it is so worth it.

Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica
Gratinata sauce use 4 1/2 cups:

2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dill
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Penne Rustica:

1 ounce (or 4 slices) pancetta
18 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 ounces grilled chicken breasts, sliced
16-24 ounces penne pasta, cooked
3 teaspoons chopped pimiento or roasted red peppers
6 ounces butter
1 teaspoon chopped shallot
1 pinch salt and pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
For Gratinata Sauce: Saute butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add Marsala wine and reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients, reduce by half of the original volume. Set aside.
For Penne Rustica: Saute pancetta until it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp.
Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add gratinata sauce and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Simmer until sauce thickens.
In a large bowl, combine shrimp& chicken mixture with the cooked pasta. Pour into a large casserole dish or roaster. Top with remaining cheese, pimientos/peppers and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

What got me thinking about all this today, was my recent discovery at the grocery store...

HELLO!!!!!!!! There were three different flavors and I bought one of each, so guess what we will be having for supper in the very near future?! I think the Macaroni Grill people have been hearing me whining and crying and decided to create these dinners just to appease me. Yes, I'm sure that's why.


  1. Wow, that looks delicious... I want some now! Thanks for the recipe, I will have to make it someday...:)

  2. Thanks a lot Lisa. I just gained 5 pounds reading your post. :-)