Macaroni Grill's Penne Rustica

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Delicious, rich, creamy, cheesy. Who could ask for anything more?

Preparation time: 40 min
Cooking time: 15 min

Difficulty: Medium - some experience needed
Serves: 4-6


• 3 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic
• 3 tablespoons marsala wine
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
• 1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
• 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
• 1 lb penne rigate, cooked
• 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 2 skinless chicken breasts
• 1/2 cup about 2 ounces thick-sliced prosciutto, chopped
• 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
• 12 sliced pimientos
• 4 sprigs rosemary


1. Preheat bbq grill to high. ( I just saute the chicken in precut strips and then shred it or cut it into chunks instead of BBQ it)
Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tbls of butter over medium/low heat. Add garlic and sweat it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn't brown. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until smooth. Bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it's thick. Cover sauce and remove from heat.
Cook pasta following directions on the package (7-9 minutes in boiling water). You want the pasta tender, but not mush (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it's done.
Pound the thick end of your chicken breast a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper. Spear the shrimp on skewers (6 per skewer should work fine), then rub them with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
(I don't bother pounding and also saute the shrimp in a pan)
5. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side. When chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.
6. preheat oven to 500 degrees. Build each dish in a large shallow baking dish. Or you can use a 9 inch glass or ceramic pie plate. Load 3 cups of pasta into each baking dish. Add one quarter of the chicken, 3 shrimp, and 2 tbls of prosciutto onto each serving. Spoon 3/4 of a cup of gratinata sauce on each serving and toss to coat. Combine 3 tbls of grated Parmesan cheese with 1 1/2 tsp paprika, then sprinkle about 1 tbls of this mixture over the top of each serving. Bake the dishes for 10-12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown. Arrange 3 pimentos on the top of each serving, then jab a sprig of rosemary into the center an serve.

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