Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cousin's Night... and Penne Rustica

Photo courtesy of Meemo's Kitchen

Well, it was Cousin's Night again, and this celebration we decided to skip the movies since nothing exciting was playing in our town. So we went to an Italian Restaurant called Coco Pazzo (I think). It was a lot of fun. Four of us meet often (though it usually runs about four times a year), and we just laugh, hug, and remember our grandma, our families... and it feels like heaven on earth. As young people I think we assume families are always going to be there. I believed I had an endless supply of aunts, uncles, cousins... and I have lost all but one great aunt, all my uncles... but we still have our original cousins... first cousins... and several wonderful extended (once and twice removed.. ones).... Tonight we had exciting news. One of us is to be a new gramma (not me, I'm afraid, but still very exciting).

We usually take a small little gift we've made or picked up... I took music CD compilations, and we had photos, Easter glittery ornaments, and the little cup of candy and Peeps with the news that our family would soon be receiving a little chick in the "incubator" again... How fun!

I had Penne Rustica, and I came home and googled the recipe. This one's from Macaroni Grill, but it looks exactly the same. It was delicious! We also had a honey/balsamic viniagrette on a salad... That was fantastic! Enjoy if you feel culinary... or just nip out to the local Italian Restaurant with some one you love! I highly recommend it!

Romano's Macaroni Grill® Penne Rustica®Recipe By Romano's Macaroni Grill®

Menu description:Imported penne pasta with shrimp, grilled chicken and smoked prosciutto baked under a golden crust of Parmesan cheese

For gratinata sauce:2 Tablespoons butter2 Tablespoons chopped garlic1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon chopped rosemary1 cup marsala wine¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper8 cups heavy cream

For penne rustica:1 oz pancetta or bacon18 shrimp, peeled, deveined12 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced4 ½ cups Gratinata Sauce, from the above48 oz precooked penne pasta3 Tablespoons pimentos6 oz butter1 Tablespoon chopped shallots1 pinch salt, or to taste1 pinch freshly-ground black pepper, or to taste1 cup grated Parmesan cheese½ tsp paprika6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Alternate For the Gratinata Sauce:Sauté butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add marsala wine and reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.For the Penne Rustica:Sauté 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 ½ cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce thickens.In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimentos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475°F for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.Yield: 6 servings.

Super Secret Version:Romano's Macaroni Grill® Penne Rustica®GRATINATA SAUCE3 Tablespoons butter2 Tablespoons minced garlic3 Tablespoons marsala wine2 Cups heavy cream1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese1/2 Cup milk1/2 Cup chicken broth1 Tablespoon cornstarch1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard2 Teaspoons minced fresh rosemary1/2 Teaspoon salt1/2 Teaspoon minced fresh thyme1/4 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


Lisa said...

gosh, I wish I was a cousin. I loved you put, "an endless supply of aunts and uncles" I couldn't have said that better!!!! Love ya!!

Allidink said...

The penne rustica at Macaroni Grill is my absolute favorite dish there! It's the only thing my stepmom and I ever order! lol Yum! I didn't know you could find the recipe for it!

All the best,

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Thanks for the recipe...m..