Food on Fridays: Romano’s Macaroni Grill’s Butternut Asiago Tortellaci


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Food on Fridays with Ann

Romano’s Macaroni Grill sent me an e-mail alert that my favorite item, Butternut Asiago Tortellaci—considered a winter dish—was about to be plucked from the menu in favor of more springtime dishes. Butternut Asiago Tortellaci: four-cheese stuffed pasta, roasted butternut squash, crispy prosciutto, truffle cream, and pumpkin seeds.I’d only had it once, but after one bite realized I loved it more than life itself. And now they were telling me I only had until mid-February, and then, no more.[insert primal scream]So I pleaded with the Belgian Wonder to get me there before it disappears. He sensed desperation, so one evening this past week, we headed to the restaurant for a splurge, a treat, a final taste of winter: soft cheeses wrapped in thin, delicate pasta…sweet cubes of butternut squash…salty strips of prosciutto fried crisp…the unexpected nutty crunch of the pumpkin seeds.[insert satisfied sigh]Already I can’t find it on their website.I only wish I’d recommended it earlier, so everyone could have had a bite, before it’s gone.


Photo credit: Photos by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved.

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  • Comments

    1. So very cruel! I have never had it and now….I have to wait until next winter. No wait….we didn’t actually have a winter this year…ha. I need to recreate it. Can you tell me in an email how you think it was made? I want to try it.

      • I used to be a chef at Macaroni Grill, although I worked in a different area of the restaurant when this was being made, but I can give it my best shot at how to make it…

        The Tortellacis:
        Tortellaci is just a home-made pasta wrapped around cheese. To make the pasta, it is flour, egg yolk, salt, and olive oil. I judge the amounts by how the dough feels, but if you haven’t made pasta, I would recommend finding a recipe for fresh pasta, even though the measurements are usually always wrong with those anyways. You want to be able to, in the end, roll it out nicely so it is about 1 mm thick. then you cut it into 4 or 5 inch squares.

        Place your cheeses (parmesan, asiago, romano, ricotta) onto the center, and fold it. Here’s a video on how to fold tortellini (tortellaci is just a big tortellini):

        when they are folded, they are ready to boil. they will only take about 5 minutes to boil, since it is fresh pasta.

        The sauces:
        The sauce is basically an asiago creme sauce and also a drizzle of demi glace on top. I just make alfredo, which is about the same thing, but a little stronger (which is good). The demi glace from Macaroni Grill takes days to make with constantly having to add and reduce ingredients. Just buy some at the store, trust me, it is easier.

        for the sauce, sweat a few cloves of minced or pureed garlic into 4 tbsp butter, and a few pinches of salt (just melt the butter, and let the garlic fry in it for a few minutes, and be careful not to burn it). Add about 1 or 1 1/2 cups of either heavy whipping creme, or milk&flour of the same consistency. Once that is simmering, add your cheeses (parmesan, asiago, romano, ricotta). let them melt, and taste to see if you want more cheese.

        Butternut Squash: cut into 1/2 inch cubes, mix with olive oil, and bake until it has a golden brown crust.
        Prosciutto: don’t use prosciutto. The kind Macaroni Grill gets is specially made, and can’t be found easily in stores. Bacon works just as good. Make it nice and crispy
        pumpkin seeds: you can roast them a little, or put them in raw.. no huge difference

        For presentation, Macaroni Grill plates the sauce first, and then tortellaci, then all the ingredients, and tops with a streak of demi glace, and some parmesan cheese. I am planning to make this for the weekend :)

        • annkroeker says:

          David, this is fabulous! Thank you so much!!

        • Hey David, I’m not certain if they changed the sauce but now it says it’s a truffle cream sauce. Any clue? Thanks so much for breaking this down! My 15 yr old LOVES it!!

        • Oh! Sorry, forgot one other thing! A beef demi glace I assume? Thanks again!!

        • Thank you David. This recipe was excellent! THat garlic cheese sauce was magnificent! I had no idea you could make alfredo with garlic! I absolutely loved it! One question…the bacon, should I pan fry it, or should I bake it with butternut squash? Also, do you know how to make the chicken milanese from Macaroni Grill?

        • Carrera Cameron says:

          David, Thanks so much for the recipe. I love this dish and will try to make it at home. Making a demi glace is a lot of work though. Will this dish taste just as good without it?

    2. I can understand why you will miss that delicious dish! I am all for seasonal eating, but I hate it when my favourite restaurants take my favourite dishes off the menu! Thank you for hosting Food on Friday, and have a lovely weekend :)

    3. Yummy! I use to be a HUGE fan of Macaroni Grill. Well let’s just say I still am but the last one we went to I will not go back to that same one. The food was bland and I always order the same thing. So disappointed. I’ve not tried this but I plan to! Thanks for sharing and hosting. I’d LOVE for you to stop over and link this recipe/link up in my Happy Friday Valentine link up. I’m giving pins on Pinterest to all who link up today. I’d love for you to play and I”ll make sure to follow you! Happy Friday, susie

    4. Yum! Gosh, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to Macaroni Grill. Years. That’s what happens when the nearest one is 75 miles away.

    5. I’ve never been to Macaroni Grill! But I think you should figure out how to recreate that dish so you don’t have to go without it. ;-)

      Happy to be back visiting on Friday, Ann! I linked up my accidental Un-Molten Chocolate Cake and the original version, too. :-)


    6. Thanks for hosting!! And thanks for leaving us some comment love last week!

    7. I searched and found one of these restaurants 75 miles away from us. Their menu sounded wonderful but they did not include the butternut dish. It sounds yummy and your photos look delicious! I wonder if each restaurant has their own menu. Their lovely recipe would be difficult to duplicate in my kitchen as seen on your post.

    8. They have this dish back on their menu for this fall in Fall 2012!

      • annkroeker says:

        Yahoo!!! Thanks for the heads up, Tara. I think my husband clipped some coupons from the newspaper, too. What a treat!

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