Sunday, June 17, 2012

Penne Rustica

penne rustica, pasa dishes,


Macaroni Grill is my husband’s absolute favorite place to eat and when

we get the chance to go, we always split the the Penne Rustica!

I found this recipe some time ago on Your Home Based Mom.

I made a few customizations of my own to make it a little closer to the original

and I tell you what, there is no other copycat recipe as close as this one is

to the original flavor!




12 oz. grilled chicken breast
1/4 lbs. Pancetta

1/4 lbs. Prosciutto
2 boxes penne pasta
1 1/2large red bell peppers- diced and sautéed till soft 
1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
½ tsp paprika for sauce and some to sprinkle on top!

3 cups Mozzarella cheese

prosciutto and pancetta

Gratinata Sauce:
2 tbs. butter
3 large cloves chopped garlic
1/3 apple juice + 2 tbs. red wine vinegar + 1 cup chicken broth

1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary and several sprigs for garnish
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
4 cups heavy cream +
3/4 cup milk


Sauté garlic and peppers in butter in large pan.

Add apple juice mixture, mustard, salt, rosemary, cayenne pepper,

and heavy cream and milk.

penne rustica


             Cook pasta according to directions.

penne pasta

Chop pancetta and prosciutto into small pieces and then fry

in a skillet. Slice chicken into medium-bite size pieces.

(***Tip, when grilling chicken at any time be sure to add a couple extra

breasts on the grill. Then slice up and throw in the freezer for future meals

like this one. This Saved me a good hours worth of time! )

Combine sauce, cooked pasta, diced chicken, pancetta, prosciutto,

bell peppers, parmesan cheese, and paprika and mix thoroughly.

Spread in pans, and top with chopped rosemary and mozzarella cheese.

Garnish with 3 rosemary sprigs in each pan.

penne rustica, cooking in bulk

When I set out to make this recipe I did not realize how large the recipe

was, but I was incredibly grateful that it did!

In one prep I made four dinners at once. Considering the amount of work

involved up front it was very beneficial to get three future dinners done

at the same time.  

Bake @ 475 for 10 minutes. If frozen, thaw in refrigerator the day of.

Cover with foil and bake @ 375 for 1 hour. Remove foil during the last 15 minutes.
Number Of Servings: Yields 4
Preparation Time: More than an hour

Future suggestions… As we started to eat we realized that the ONLY thing that

was missing was the shrimp! So next time I will add lightly sautéed Shrimp.


penne rustica


I chose to serve this with a simple salad and sourdough bread,

baked and buttered with garlic-butter.


Taking the time to set a simple table Scape sets the mood

and some how makes the food taste that much better!

Making dinner at home special also makes it easier to make

the choice to eat at home.

We even played some Italian music as we ate!

Italian table scape

This is a great meal for date night, Valentines Day,

Italian themed movie night, Birthday Celebration,

or Father’s day.  Here is a fantastic dessert to

accompany any Italian meal!

This is now a permanent recipe in my rotation of

bulk meals. Since we are in Flagstaff now, and there

is not a Macaroni Grill here, this helps  to satisfy

my husbands withdrawals! 

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1 comment:

  1. This is by far the most authentic tasting "knock off" recipe of anything that I have ever tasted. It tasted like it came straight from Macaroni Grill. Thank you sweetheart for all the hard work that went into this.