Thursday, August 2, 2012

Penne Rustica

Ok, so these pictures aren't the best step by step pictures because I was feeding my 6 week old baby while I was making dinner, but it's not a hard dish to prepare. This is a mock version on Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica. But honestly, I think this one is better. It's a combination of chicken, shrimp and pancetta over penne, with a sauce to die for.
You need to use a grill for the chicken, and a stove for the pancetta and shrimp.

You need (for the Gratinata Sauce):
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. Marsala cooking wine
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup milk
1/2 chicken broth
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. frsh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. cayenne (or more if you want it spicy)

1 pound penne pasta
12 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 skinless chicken breast fillets
1/2 cup pancetta, chopped

a small handful of shredded parmesan for sprinkling (I ran out of parmesan, so I used mozzarella and it was good. Any cheese is better than no cheese!)
1 1/2 tsp. paprika

Preheat grill to high. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients, except for the butter, garlic, and wine.

Prepare sauce by melting the butter in a skillet over a med/low heat. Add garlic and sweat it out for about 5 minutes. don't let the garlic brown! Add the Marsala wine and cook another 5 minutes.

Add the bowl of remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Bring it up to a simmer and leave it there for 10 minutes.
Cover sauce and remove from heat. It will thicken as it sits.
Cook pasta according to package. Drain and set aside.
Rub chicken with a bit of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Grill chicken for about 10 minutes per side, or until done. When chicken is done, slice it into small strips.
Heat some olive oil in a smaller skillet. Add the pancetta and cook for about 7 minutes. Just until they begin to crisp up.

Season the shrimp with some salt and pepper and pan fry them in a little olive oil too, just until they start to pink. this should only take 2-3 minutes.

In a big ceramic or glass dish, pour in the pasta..
This is where I become M.I.A. My hubby took over in the kitchen for a few minutes so I could feed a hungry baby :)
After the pasta, layer the chicken, then shrimp, then pancetta. Pour the sauce over the whole thing.
In a small bowl, mix the parmesan (or mozzarella) with the paprika. Sprinkle over the suace. Bake at 500 for 10-12 minutes.

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