This copycat Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica recipe is insanely delicious and every bit as yummy as the real deal!
My savvy friend Angela from Nashville, TN, was raving about this Copycat Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica recipe a few weeks ago, so I decided to try it out over the Christmas holidays. Oh. My. Glory! It is literally one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever put in my mouth! We had friends over for dinner when I served this, and they literally raved!
Macaroni Grill’s Penne Rustica is the most popular menu item at the restaurant and also my personal favorite. This recipe nails it as far as copycat recipes go. It tastes similar enough to fool even seasoned penne rustica fans.
Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica is served in individual baking dishes; this recipe can definitely be made as such. There are several dishes similar to the MG one pictured below.
I tweaked Todd Wilbur’s copycat recipe slightly and am sharing the recipe as I made it. As always, I share brands I used if applicable.
Make ahead: The chicken, gratinata sauce, and pasta can be made up to one day ahead and refrigerated until just before assembling and baking the dish.
Savvy kitchen tools for this recipe…..
- A good whisk. This OXO flat whisk is my fave.
- A garlic press. I use this garlic twist and love it.
- A pasta pot with drain holes in lid. Mine is fab, less than $20, and PINK! (This pot comes in a wide variety of colors…..I use mine ALL the time.
- Kitchen shears for snipping fresh herbs and chopping prosciutto, chicken, shrimp…
If you try this copycat Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica recipe, please leave your thoughts and comments! I love hearing from readers and welcome any feedback!
As always, thanks so much for stopping by my site. Have a blessed, joyful, and savvy day!!!
- GRATINATA SAUCE:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 shallot, minced or finely chopped
- 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
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- PENNE LAYER:
- 1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked
- 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded into even thinness
- 1/2 cup (about 2 ounces) thick-sliced smoked prosciutto, chopped
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 12 slices pimentos
- Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium/low heat.
- Add the garlic and shallot; sautÃ© over low heat for about 5 minutes. (Be sure the garlic doesn't brown.)
- Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining sauce ingredients; whisk well until smooth.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking continually, for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens.
- Remove sauce from heat; set aside or refrigerate until ready to make the dish.
- Add penne to rapidly boiling, salted water.
- Boil to al dente per package directions.
- Drain pasta; set aside. (I add a bit of EVOO to keep pasta from sticking together).
- Season shrimp to taste (I used Cajun seasoning).
- SautÃ© shrimp in small amount of EVOO or butter until just done (be careful not to overcook).
- Cut shrimp into bite size pieces; set aside.
- Grill or bake chicken until done; cut into bite size pieces. Set aside.
- Chop or cut into small pieces; set aside.
- Combine 3 TB parmesan with 1 1/2 tsp paprika; set aside.
- TO BAKE:
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- Spread pasta into large baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
- Add chicken, shrimp, prosciutto and pimento, tucking into penne.
- Pour gratinata sauce over all; mixing throughout with gloved hands or spoon.
- Sprinkle parmesan/paprika mixture on top.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until top begins to brown and dish begins to bubble at the edges.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 5437 Total Fat: 272g Saturated Fat: 156g Cholesterol: 1393mg Sodium: 4992mg Carbohydrates: 401g Sugar: 51g Protein: 313g