Penne Rustica

This dish is a little time consuming – but easy.  I like to make this as a special treat because it has that ‘restaurant quality’ taste to it.   Play with the ingredients according to your tastes.  You can adjust the seasonings in the sauce to be stronger if you wish – taste and see once the sauce is done.   And please use real parmesan cheese if you have it.  The stuff in the green can may leave a gritty texture behind.


Gratinata Sauce

  • 1 ts butter
  • 1 ts fresh garlic
  • 1/2 ts dijon mustard
  • 1/2 ts dill weed
  • 1/2 ts rosemary (chopped)
  • 1/2 c your favorite wine (we buy the boxed wine and use that for all of our cooking.)
  • 4c heavy cream (yep, there goes your diet)

Penne Rustica

  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, grilled and sliced
  • 12 oz. penne pasta, cooked
  • 3tb butter
  • 1/4 small onion, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 ts paprika


For gratinata sauce

  1. Melt butter over medium heat.  Sautee garlic until fragrant, then add remaining seasonings.
  2. Increase heat to high.  Once skillet has heated, add wine to deglaze skillet.  The wine will sizzle and the alcohol will cook off.  Once most of the bubbling and sizzling is over, reduce heat to medium high and cook until the wine has been reduced by 1/3.
  3. Add the heavy cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces by half.  This may take a while, but you can get started on the penne rustica.

Penne rustica

  1. Chop bacon and saute until cooked.  Remove the bacon.
  2. In the bacon drippings, add butter and onion.  Cook onion until soft and translucent.  Add chicken, salt and pepper.  Stir well.
  3. Once gratinata sauce has thickened, add the sauce and 1/4 c of the parmesan cheese. Combine with cooked pasta.  Turn pasta mixture into a casserole dish, top with remaining parmesan cheese and bake at 475F for 10-15 minutes.

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