Friday, September 23, 2011

Pasta Da Vinci (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)

My husband is the type who finds something he likes at a restaurant and orders that same dish every single time.  He had the idea for me to learn to make his all time favorite, Pasta Da Vinci from the Cheesecake Factory.  I did some research and found a recipe that was amazing!  According to my husband, it tasted very similar to the original, but he did give me some tips to really nail it next time... and there WILL be a next time.  Here's what you'll need and how to make it:

Pasta Da Vinci
recipe altered from

1 (16oz) box penne pasta ($1.28)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($0.22)
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced ($2.48)
1 large red onion, finely chopped ($0.76)
2 large Portabella Mushrooms (or shiitake) ($3.71)
6 cloves garlic, grated ($0.04)
1 cup Madeira wine ($4.60) - I bought a $15 bottle of good Madeira wine
1 cup heavy cream ($3.19)
1/2 cup sour cream ($0.42)
2 tablespoon butter ($0.18)

Total To Make $16.88, makes 6-8 delicious servings!

I could not find Shiitake mushrooms, so I got Portabella's and thought they went well with the dish.  Chop the onion, grate the garlic, dice the mushrooms, and cube the chicken.  My husband requested that I do larger chunks of chicken next time (like the original dish).  Also start a large pot of salted water to boil, cook the penne to al dente, drain and set aside.
 I found a few different Madeira wines.  Some were like a white wine, while others are reddish pink.  Go with the darkest color you can find, not white for the best taste in this dish.  Here is a picture of the one I bought.  This was a $15 bottle of wine.  
 I cooked the chicken, onions, mushrooms and garlic all together in a large skillet with the oil.  Next time (at my husband's request) I will cook the chicken separately and caramelize the onions and mushrooms with the garlic for much longer to really work up the flavor.  This is the trick to getting it more like the original dish.
 Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside.
 For the sauce, pour the wine in the pan that previously had the vegetables in it.  Bring to a boil and simmer the wine until it has reduced, for about 8-10 minutes.  
 Add the heavy cream and sour cream to the wine, combine well and simmer an additional 1-2 minutes.  Stir in the butter (Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the sauce at this point).  Add everything to the pasta and toss well to coat all the pasta with the sauce.  According to the "all knowing" husband, the sauce was perfect!  Just like the real deal.  Enjoy!

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