Bacon Quest: Penne Pasta at The Chew Chew

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By Alicia Plomin

What: Penne Pasta

Smoked gouda cream, julienne chicken breast, bacon, tomato, scallions, pecorino romano.



The Chew Chew

33 E Burlington St.

Riverside, IL 60546

How: The dish has been on the menu longer than any other, and even when owner and Executive Chef Scott Zimmer gets creative and changes the menu, the Penne Pasta always remains. It's a customer favorite that was inspired by the Wisconsin smoked gouda cheese that is the defining flavor. Chef Zimmer even sends pictures of the Penne Pasta to patrons who live out-of-town to help appease their craving for it. It's in-line with the modern american feel of the restaurant and other menu items.

Why: Think of the best spaghetti Carbonara you've had. Now imagine it even better, and you'll get close to how absolutely amazing the Penne Pasta at the Chew Chew is. After having it, I've decided adding cherry tomatoes is a genius move). They get slightly cooked while being incorporated into the sauce and add a welcome burst of juicy sweetness that lightens up the rich, luxurious cream sauce. Freshly chopped scallions bring a brightness to it all, and the shreds of pecorino romano act as seasoning salt. Chef Scott describes the dish as comforting, and that couldn't be more correct. 

Check out The Chew Chew's menu at

Bacon Quest is a search for unique, creative uses of America's favorite cut of pork. See where else the Quest took us this year at Click here to read about Bacon Quest 2014.


Email: Twitter: @aplomin

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