Recipes of the Day: Penne Rustica & Fococcia

This is one of our very favorite dishes. We do easily double it if everyone is to be here for supper. Very easy…just note not to let the garlic brown and stir, stir, stir the sauce.

To prepare meat:

2 skinless chicken breasts grilled or broiled and cut into chunks

Pound the thick end of your chicken breast a bit with a kitchen mallet to make them a uniform thickness.
Rub chicken with olive oil, then sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper.
Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. When chicken is done, slice each breast into strips.

Gratinata Sauce

1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons marsala wine
1 lb penne rigate cooked
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Prosciutto about 2 ounces thick-sliced, chopped
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon chicken bullion
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

Prepare gratinata sauce by melting 3 tbls of butter over medium/low heat. Add garlic and simmer it for about 5 minutes. Be sure the garlic doesn’t brown. Add the marsala wine and cook for another 5 minutes.Stirring constantly. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce and whisk until smooth. Continue stirring, and bring mixture to a simmer and keep it there for 10 minutes or until it’s thick. Cover sauce and remove from heat.

Cook past following directions on the package (7-9 minutes in boiling water).
You want the pasta tender, but not mush (al dente). Strain pasta and set it aside when it’s done.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Use a 9 x 13 dish. Load pasta into baking dish. Add the chicken and prosciutto.Spoon in gratinata sauce toss to coat.
Combine grated Parmesan cheese with paprika, then sprinkle over the top. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until tops begin to brown.

Serve with Focaccia

There are so many variations…unlimited actually. Add herbs, or cheese to your taste.

  • 3 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup plus 3 TBSPS warm water (110-110 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup white wine room temp
  • 5 cups white bread flour
  • 2 TBSP olive oil plus more for sprinkling and oiling pan
  • 2 tsp salt (for dough)
  • sea salt for sprinkling
  • Fresh herbs to taste (optional)

In a large bowl, stir sugar into 1/2 cup of the water, and sprinkle in yeast. Stir well; let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add remaining water, wine and olive oil, and mix well. Add flour a cup at a time, mixing well. Add salt in with last cup of flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic, 4 to 5 minutes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough-hook attachment, or 8 to 10 minutes by hand.

Form dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Spread dough evenly onto an oiled baking sheet. (if the dough resists being pulled and stretched, let it rest 10 minutes). Not necessarily to the edge of the sheet.  Cover with a damp towel or oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes. Dimple surface of dough with your fingertips, leaving deep indentations. Cover with towel again, and let rise at least an hour no more than 2.

Heat oven to 425°F. Drizzle oil on top of dough, allowing dimples to fill. Gently brush remaining oil over surface without deflating dough. Then sprinkle with salt and herbs, if desired. NOTE: I love the lemon infused olive oil on this bread.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven, and slide onto a wire rack. Serve as soon as possible, but really quite good completely cooled.

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[…] arent watering by now~~ night before we had Chicken Parm (OMG!) ala Husband, last night we had Penne Rustica. and fresh baguettes – oh and Coconut Cream Pie. Tonight we are having Fish Tacos and Hannah’s […]