Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lemon Basil Penne with Grilled Chicken

One of the things I love to cook with most of all is fresh basil. Is that weird? I love the bright, fresh flavor that just makes a dish pop! I've tried growing it on my window sill, but we don't get very much direct sunlight here and we don't have a yard (because believe me I would be growing mounds of it if we did). I have a couple of local grocery stores near me that sell fresh basil for a reasonable price, so I splurge every once in a while.

Fresh basil is one of those hallmark flavors of spring and summer fare and pairs perfectly with fresh lemon. I grabbed my basil at the store the other day, not knowing before hand I was going to with it (even though I just had to have it). When I got home and found three lemons in my fridge that needed to be used, I immediately knew I wanted to make this pasta dish. It is so quick and easy and delivers up tons of flavor! I love how just a few fresh and simple ingredients can make some of the best food. This pasta can be served with or without the chicken.

Lemon Basil Penne with Grilled Chicken
for the marinade:
4 chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
good drizzle of olive oil
juice of 3-4 lemons
a good squirt of Dijon mustard (about 1 Tbsp.)
dash of salt

for the pasta:
1 pound penne Pasta
4 Tbsp. butter
3 whole lemons, juiced
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
20 basil leaves, chopped into ribbons
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

Pour all the marinade ingredients into a gallon zip-top bag and add chicken, tossing to coat. Marinate several hours, up to overnight.

Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain. Set pasta aside in a colander.

While pasta is cooking, grill chicken either on an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan. Cook until no longer pink. Let cool at least 5 minutes, then slice into strips.

In the same pot used to cook the pasta, melt butter over medium heat. Squeeze in the juice of 3 lemons. Whisk together. Pour in cream and whisk until hot. Add cheese and whisk until melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Pour pasta back into the pot, along with the basil and tomatoes, stirring to coat. Pour into a large serving dish. Top with sliced chicken breasts. Serve immediately.

SOURCE: Lightly adapted from Pioneer Woman

1 comment:

  1. It has been so warm here, we almost need to use the outdoor grill. This would be perfect! And it looks delicious.


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