Easily my favorite dish from Romano's Macaroni Grill. I've searched the web a couple times before looking for a recipe, and only found things that seemed to share a few ingredients with what I knew was in the dish. However, recently, a search yet again yielded this recipe, in a few different places. This was billed in the different places as being the same as what they serve.

I have taken the time to make this recipe, and found that while it does take quite a bit of time (mostly due to reducing the sauce the proper amount), it turns out a result extremely close to what you are served in the restaurant. About all it was missing was the slightly smoky taste from the wood-fired oven used in every Macaroni Grill.

I would HIGHLY recommend that you find some nice oven-safe single-serving dishes. While you can get the nice crust on the top in a large casserole dish (actually, two large casserole dishes for the amount the recipe makes), the process of serving it into dishes will destroy most of the appearance and texture.

With the effort going into the dish, I would have to say it is not something to make just on any evening, but to reserve for special occasions. The fact that it's not very healthy either is another reason to keep the dish from being frequently served in your household.

Penne Rustica

Granita Sauce

2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Saute butter, garlic, and rosemary until garlic begins to brown. Add marsala wine and reduce by one-third. Add remaining ingredients and reduce by half of original volume. Set aside.

Penne Rustica

1 oz pancetta or bacon
18 shrimp, peeled and deveined
12 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced
4 1/2 cups of granita sauce
48 oz Penne Pasta, precooked
3 Tbsp pimentos
6 oz butter
1 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp paprika
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Saute pancette or bacon until begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pink but still translucent. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add granita sauce and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until sauce thickens. In a large bowl, combine shrimp and chicken mixture with precooked pasta. Place this mixture into single serving dishes or one large casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese and pimentos and sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprig.

According to the original recipe, this can serve six. However, I made only 2/3 the amount here, and fed five, with a good 3-4 servings left over. Add salad and foccacia to the meal, and I would suspect this recipe could serve as many as twelve people - especially since the richness of the dish will make people feel more full, and going back for seconds is not too likely.

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