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Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken

Do you love penne pasta tossed in a light Parmesan cream sauce, topped with grilled chicken?  I do. Today's recipe is just that.  It is inspired by the Penne Rustica we used to order at Romano's Macaroni Grill.   Hubby and I like to have afternoon movie and dinner dates, especially on winter weekends.   One of our local movie theaters used to be located near a Romano's Macaroni Grill.  I say, used to be near, because the Macaroni Grill closed. Now there are no Macaroni Grills in the state or in a reasonable proximity.

Grilled Chicken with Penne Pasta and Parmesan Cream Sauce


Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken
Grilled Chicken with Penne Pasta and Parmesan Cream Sauce
Pin It For Later:  Cheesy Chicken Penne Pasta

One of my favorite meals to order at the Macaroni Grill was the Penne Rustica.  As a result of the Macaroni Grille's closure, it has been a few years since I have been able to have my fix of Penne Rustica.  As a result, I made this Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken.

This recipe is 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.  Feel free to substitute the pasta of your choice, too.  My second choice of pasta for this dish would be linguini.

Cheesy Penne Pasta & Grilled Chicken with a Parmesan Cream Sauce

Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken

Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 4-6 servings
Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken Ready for the Oven
Cheesy Penne Pasta and Grilled Chicken Ready for the Oven


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 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 Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 pound penne 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) chopped, thick-sliced smoked prosciutto
Topping
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

Garnish
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
Directions
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.

Pounding Chicken Breasts
Pound Chicken Breasts between Sheets of Plastic Wrap

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and sweat it for about five minutes making sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the wine and cook for another five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until it's thick.   You'll be able to draw a line on the back of your spoon when the sauce is thick enough.  Cover the sauce and remove it from the heat.

Making the Sauce
The Sauce Is Ready When It Holds a Line
Preheat your barbecue grill to high.  Cook the penne pasta following directions on the package (seven to nine minutes in boiling water).  Strain the pasta and set it aside when it's done.  Grill the chicken breasts for five to six minutes per side.  Set aside to rest and then slice each breast into strips.

Grilled Chicken Breasts
You'll Want Lovely Grill Marks on Your Chicken
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. In a large, shallow baking dish, pour in all of the cooked pasta. I use an Emile Henry baking dish like this one. Add the chicken, the chopped prosciutto and all of the Parmesan cream sauce.  Toss to coat. Combine three tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika and sprinkle the mixture over the top of the dish.

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

I hope you like this as much as I do.

Essential Tools for this Dish

Emile Henry Baking Dish
Meat Mallet
Wooden Spoons

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.


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Enjoy!

Comments

  1. This looks like a perfect recipe to make in the spring once we can start grilling again. Pinning this one..and counting the days till I can use my grill!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We keep our grill ready-to-go twelve month of the year. If it isn't buried under snow, we use it!

      Delete

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