Thursday, July 26, 2012

Penne Rustica is so delicious, you won't even care that it makes you fat.

I have fond memories of going shopping and then snacking on Penne Rustica at Macaroni Grill with my sister Erin, so this is one of my favorite dishes. That creamy, smoky garlicky sauce is dangerously addictive! But I normally only make it once a year, on New Year's Day. It's the perfect post-party remedy, but it also contains 2 cups of heavy cream...  UGH. But Keith specially requested it, and he deserved it after listening me whine so much about that uncomfortable question people keep askingI've modified the original recipe because Keith loves pepperoni and is indifferent to chicken, but if you want a more authentic Macaroni Grill dish, use chicken and prosciutto instead of pepperoni.

3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp Marsala wine
2 c heavy cream
1 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c milk
1/2 c chicken broth
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Other ingredients
1 lb penne rigate pasta
1/2 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
olive oil
salt and pepper
20 pepperoni slices
1-1/2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp paprika

Helpful hints
1. This dish is much easier to prepare if you make the sauce a day ahead. It keeps well in the refrigerator, and having the sauce ready significantly cuts down on annoyances during prep time.

2. If you don't have a really big saucepan, make the sauce in a Dutch oven. If this stuff boils over (oops!), it's a bitch to clean up!

How to
1. Preheat oven to broil.

2. Melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium/low heat. Add garlic and sweat for about 5 minutes. Don't let it brown. Add the Marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until smooth. Bring to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it thickens. Cover sauce and remove it from heat.

3. While sauce simmers, prepare pasta according to package directions.

4. Skewer the shrimp. Rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 2 minutes on each side.

5. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

6. While the oven preheats, slice the pepperoni into small pieces. 

7. Mix the remaining Parmesan cheese and paprika together in a cup.

8. Mix cooked pasta, sauce, pepperoni, and broiled shrimp together so that all are evenly coated with sauce. Turn the mixture into a casserole dish, and top with the Parmesan/paprika mixture.

9. Bake the dishes for 10 - 12 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown.


What do you think? Your comments always make my day.

P.S. All trolls will be fed to the bookworms.