Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Copy Cat Grilled Penne Rustica

Hubby and I like to have afternoon movie and a dinner dates.  One of our local movie theaters used to be nearby a Romano's Macaroni Grill.  I say, used to be nearby, because the Macaroni Grill closed. Now there are no Macaroni Grills in the state or in a reasonable proximity.  This is important because when I go to a restaurant I usually zero in on one dish that becomes the only dish I will order when I frequent that establishment.  Can any of you relate?

As a result of the Macaroni Grille's closure, it has been a couple of years since I have been able to have my fix of Grilled Penne Rustica.  I know, it's a chain restaurant.  Get over yourself.  ( I say that lovingly.) So, what's a desperate girl to do?  Well, search the Internet, of course!

My Copycat Penne Rustica
Happily I was able to find this recipe for Copycat Grilled Penne Rustica, and yes, I made it.  Now that I have made it you are going to want to make it, too.  It's easy to make and oh, so delicious.  You can make it in individual servings, or in a casserole dish.  It really doesn't matter.  It tastes the same no matter what dish you make it in.  Just make it.  Really, friends, you must.

First you'll want to check out the original copycat recipe and watch the video.  It's a hoot!  Then decide if you want to make the original version or my adaption.  They are very close, but I'm a tinkerer and just can't leave well enough alone.  You decide what works for you.

Copy Cat Grilled Penne Rustica
Penne Rustica Ingredients
Makes 4-6 servings
Gratinata Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons white wine, Pinot Grigio
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup no fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked
  • Your favorite bottled Italian dressing, for marinating the chicken
  • 3 skinless chicken breast fillets, pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) thick-sliced smoked prosciutto, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

  • 4 sprigs rosemary
Preheat your barbecue grill to high.  Pound the thick end of your chicken breasts a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness, about 1/4 inch thick.  Place the pounded breasts in a glass or ceramic dish and pour enough Italian dressing over them to coat.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Pound Chicken Breasts between Sheets of Plastic Wrap

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the minced garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes making sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the  wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk well until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer cook until it's thick.   You'll be able to draw a line on the back of your spoon.  Cover sauce and remove it from the heat.
The Sauce is Ready When It Holds A  Line

Cook the penne pasta following directions on the package (7 to 9 minutes in boiling water).  Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.  Grill the chicken breasts for 5 to 6 minutes per side.  Set aside to cool and then slice each breast into strips.

You'll Want Lovely Grill Marks on Your Chicken

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. In a large, shallow baking dish, pour in all of the cooked pasta.  Add the chicken, the chopped prosciutto and all of the gratinata sauce.  Toss to coat. Combine 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the dish.
Ready for the Oven

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve with a sprig of rosemary in the center of the dish.

Grilled Penne Rustica
You can get the printable Grilled Penne Rustica recipe by clicking the link.

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