Anybody remember when Outback used to have a dish called Cyclone Pasta on their menu? Well, it was one of my favorites. Only it didn't last on the menu for long, much to my dismay. This was the dish that, after a long day on the ship (in a past life, I spent four years in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer), I'd pop by Outback and get this to go to enjoy with a glass of wine and Grey's Anatomy. It came with a fabulous garlic bread, that I have yet to replicate, but that's the easy part after figuring out this dish. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it's been about six years since I last tasted the original recipe, so remembering the flavors was a bit of a challenge! But thanks to the internet, I was able to combine the memories of several folks hankerin' for this dish and came up with something that is pretty close to what I remember! Enjoy!
1 8.5-ounce jar sun-dried tomatoes, julienned and oil packed (with the oil reserved)
2 large chicken breasts, chopped
1 onion, halved and sliced into half-moons
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 cup prosciutto, thinly sliced and cut into thin ribbons
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced (I used baby bellas)
1 (16 ounce) box penne pasta, cooked
crushed red pepper to taste
1 (16 ounce) jar Classico Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo sauce
Italian blend shredded cheese, as much as you like
olive oil, as needed
Separate the julienned sun-dried tomatoes from the oil in the jar. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced chicken, and any additional olive oil as necessary. Just before the chicken is completely cooked through, add the onions and garlic and saute until crisp-tender. Add reserved sun-dried tomatoes, prosciutto, and mushrooms, and continue to saute.
Heat a pot of water to boiling and cook penne as directed. Drain. Meanwhile, add dried herbs and pepper flakes to large skillet, adjusting heat and seasonings as necessary. Add pasta to skillet, stirring to combine. Add entire jar of pasta sauce and heat until slightly thickened and thoroughly combined. Add shredded cheese as desired (one large handful to start) and stir until melted and combined into mixture.
Serve hot, and sprinkle a little more cheese over each bowl.