Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Date Night Dinner: Penne Rustica

Most of the time we eat to meet a need. Other times food is an art. This is one of the latter times. So whether you're looking to impress your woman, or you just appreciate good, quality food this is a recipe your mouth doesn't want to miss. In all fairness, this is a KTF knock off that fixes the mistakes of the original (i.e. you won't find any seafood in here). The original comes from Macaroni Grill, so you could just skip all this and go there but where's the fun in that? [Editor's note: Yep. That's about as mouth-watering as our photos get. Sorry it's not mommy blog quality, but KTF is looking for a photographer...]

Serves: 2
Kitchen time: 1 hour

The Meat
  • 2 Italian sausages (or a handfull of nasty shrimp if you must)
  • 1 Skinless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup thick cut prosciutto (or bacon)  
The Sauce
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp marsala wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Everything Else
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/2 lb. penne pasta (cooked)
  • Sliced pimentos
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  1. Fire up the grill and allow to preheat for 15 minutes on high. Coat chicken in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill the meat. After it has cooled, cut into strips.
  2. Cook the pasta
  3. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium-low heat. Sauté garlic. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients on the sauce list, stir until completely mixed and simmer for 10 minutes. Cover and remove from heat.
  4. Preheat oven to 500°F. Combine the meat, sauce, and pasta in a glass baking dish. Top the baking dish with remaining Parmesan cheese and paprika. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. Garnish with sliced pimentos and serve with caesar salad and garlic bread. Buon divertimento!


  1. This is very impressive. Do tell: are you a super anal cook or are you a 'go with the flow' cook? Must you measure every speck and drop or do you let the ingredients move you along? And of the two, which is the wifey?

    1. Thanks! Good question- you'd think the engineer in me would be more precise, but the artist side comes out when I cook. Generally I glance at a recipe in the beginning and figure it out from there. 2 years ago Angela was very regimented in the way she cooked, she's since discovered the freedom in not doing exactly what the recipe says. She's become quite the chef.