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Romano's Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica Casserole


Adapted from Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur. Instead of individual servings I pour the mixture into a 9x11 baking dish. I add more chicken than the original recipe. Also, to make it easier I use leftover grilled chicken from a previous meal and roast the shrimp in the oven. See my recipes - Grilled Chicken Dijon and Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. There's a distinct smoky flavor that comes from the smoked prosciutto used by the chain, and you might have a hard time finding it. Use regular prosciutto, cut to 1/8 of an inch or use thick sliced smoky bacon.

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  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked al dente
  • 20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 skinless chicken breast fillets (I use leftover grilled)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 12 sliced pimentos (optional)
  • 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) thick-sliced smoked prosciutto, chopped
  • OR
  • 2 strips of bacon fried and crumbled
  • Gratinata Sauce
  • 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


Servings 8
Preparation time 60mins
Cooking time 80mins


Step 1

Preheat oven to 500 degrees
If using bacon, fry and crumble.
Prepare the gratinata sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat. Add the garlic and sweat (don't brown) it for about 5 minutes. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk well until smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer for 10 minutes or until thick. Cover the sauce and remove it from the heat.
Cook the pasta following directions on the package for al dente.
If grilling chicken, pound the thick end of the chicken breast with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness. Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss the shrimp in olive oil and skewer the shrimp, 6 per skewer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Grill shrimp for 2 minutes per side.
Slice each breast into strips.
Combine the pasta, gratinata sauce and prosciutto or bacon in a large bowl. Spray a 9x11 baking dish with no stick cooking spray. Pour pasta and sauce into baking dish. Evenly distribute chicken and shrimp over the mixture then push down into the sauce.
Combine the grated parmesan cheese with the paprika, and sprinkle on top of the mixture. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Arrange the pimentos on top and serve.
1/8th serving = 680 calories

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