Thursday, August 25, 2011
Creamy Lemon-Herb Pasta
Let me just tell you, this is the perfect summer dish! It is easy, quick and uses what most people have in abundance this time of year: zucchini and fresh herbs from the garden. Really, it takes no longer to throw together than the time it takes you to boil your pasta, especially if your chicken is already cooked. I used the leftover chicken from the Lemon and Oregano Chicken I roasted earlier in the week so all I had to do was take it out of the fridge when it was time to throw it all together.
Feel free to use whatever chicken you have on hand, chopped or shredded. If you want a simple marinade, just throw a couple drizzles of olive oil, juice of a lemon and some salt and pepper in a zip-top bag with your uncooked chicken and let it sit for 30 minutes or so then throw it on the grill when you're ready to prepare the rest of the meal.
If I were Rachel Ray, this would be one of my 30-minute meals. And on a good day, I bet you could whip this dish up in 15 minutes; I'd say pretty perfect for a weeknight dinner.
Creamy Lemon-Herb Pasta
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, grilled and sliced or shredded
1/2 lb pasta
2 medium zucchini (I used one zucchini and one yellow squash)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
5-6 cloves garlic
Juice of 2 lemons
2 oz. cream cheese
1 C shredded parmesan cheese
about 8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. oregano, dried (or a small handful of fresh, chopped)
salt and pepper
Season and cook/grill/roast your chicken as desired, or use leftovers from a rotisserie chicken. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Preheat grill or or indoor grill pan. Slice zucchini and/or squash, on the diagonal, about 1/8th-inch thick. Grill zucchini/squash and onion, just until lightly browned; about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and set aside. Drop pasta into boiling water and cook according to package directions.
In a large skillet, add a drizzle of olive oil to heat up, over medium high heat. Add garlic and dried oregano and saute 1 minute. Add lemon juice and cream cheese. Once cream cheese starts melting, start whisking it together so the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and add the parmesan. Continue whisking until cheese is melted and sauce is once again smooth. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste. Add reserved chicken and grilled veggies. Toss to coat.
Drain pasta and pour into a large ceramic dish. Pour sauce mixture over pasta, gently folding in the chicken and veggies. Add fresh basil (if using fresh oregano, add it here as well) and toss one more time.
SOURCE: Adapted from Our Best Bites