Thursday, February 19, 2009

Special Dinner for a Special Guy

Since I don't normally cook on Saturdays (my one day off from kitchen duty), I didn't cook a Valentine's meal. We did carry out on Saturday and I planned Wes' special meal for Sunday. One of his favorite dishes at the now closed Macaroni Grill was Penne Rustica. I remember looking at their nutritional information one evening before going there and being totally shocked and amazed that they would be allowed to serve dishes so high in fat, calories, sodium, and lord knows what else! Of course Wes' favorite was no exception. I knew it must be laden with cream, cheese and butter. So when I came across this blog where she recreated it as healthfully as possible, I bookmarked it for a special occasion.

While I've never had the original version, this recipe turned out remarkable! I realize the addition of 2 cups of half and half isn't exactly low fat or healthy, it is somewhat better than the heavy whipping cream alternative! Since I followed the recipe pretty much as written, I won't post it again. I did double just about everything (except the half and half) because I wasn't sure how much the original made. By doubling it, I got 5 good-sized portions. I also used panacea instead of the bacon or ham.

This recipe came together so quickly and practically effortlessly! There's nothing I love more than an easy meal that turns out great. I hope you enjoy this as much as we did.


  1. I can't wait to try it - looks delicious! Also, your post about Colin delivering flowers was too cute. I'm glad you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!

  2. Yes, Sara, it closed about 2 years ago maybe? That whole area over there is a dead zone now.

  3. Thanks for the post on my blog. It's so funny to see this post about Penne Rustica, me and my husband were just talking this afternoon about trying the recipe out sometime soon, so I'll have to find your healthier version and give that a whirl.

    It's so nice to find other mom's with little ones and read what's going on in their world!