Copycat Macaroni Grill’s Penne Rustica

Last month they closed down my local Macaroni Grill.  My girlfriend and I loved to dine there!  Once I learned this news I went right to the web and found that the nearest Macaroni Grill is over an hour away!  I’m not worried though, I’ll just recreate my favorite dishes at home at a fraction of the cost of eating out.  I hope you enjoy this copycat recipe for Macaroni Grill’s Penne Rustica

Gratinata Sauce:
2 teaspoon Butter
2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 cup marsala wine
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 cups heavy cream

Saute butter, garlic , and rosemary until garlic begins to brown but do not burn the garlic.
Add marsala wine and then 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
3 lbs. cooked Penne Pasta
3 teaspoons pimentos, minced
6 oz. butter
1 teaspoon chopped shallots
1 pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon paprika
6 sprigs of fresh rosemary

Saute pancetta until it begins to brown. Add butter, shallots, and shrimp. Cook until shrimp are evenly pick but still translucent, you do not want to overcook the shrimp or else it will be rubbery. Add chicken, salt, pepper, and mix thoroughly. Add granita sauce and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and simmer until the 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 F for 10-15 minutes. Remove and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.

Copycat Macaroni Grill Reese’s Peanut Butter Cake

Every time I eat at Macaroni Grill, I face the same problem… I’m always way to stuffed to order dessert! The solution? I prepare some of my favorite Macaroni Grill desserts at home. Enjoy this delicious chocolate peanut butter cake.
3/4 cup Unsalted butter
3/4 cup Creamy style peanut butter
2 cups Packed brown sugar
3 Eggs
2 cup Unsifted all purpose flour
1 tablespoon Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 cup Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Peanut Butter Filling:
1 cup Cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Creamy style peanut butter

Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cupWater
4 tablespoons Unsalted butter
1/2 cup Cocoa
1 cup Unsifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ cake pans.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and peanut butter until it becomes
fluffy. Mix in brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after
each addition.
3. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour
mixture to butter mixture with milk and blend. Add vanilla.
4. Pour batter into pans. Bake until cake tests done, about 45 minutes.
Cool on wire rack to room temperature before frosting the cake.
5. Spread 3/4 cup peanut butter filling over tops of each cake. Let chill.
6. Spread half of warm Chocolate Glaze over peanut butter topping
on each cake, using metal spatula dipped in hot water. The glaze will
cool as it thickens.
Peanut Butter Filling: Cream ingredients together until fluffy.
Chocolate Glaze: Place water and butter in small saucepan. Bring to
boil.Add cocoa, sugar and vanilla to water mixture. Mix until
Makes 2 Cakes