Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Creamy Pasta with Lemon-Pepper Chicken

I wasn't sure if I should post this or not (I didn't think it looked very pretty), but everyone in my family said I should definitely post it because it tastes so delicious!

Creamy Pasta with Lemon-Pepper Chicken

3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ½ pounds)—you might want to flatten them to speed cooking time
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in a large pot. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper (I used Montreal Steak seasoning mix). Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chicken until well browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board and tent with foil. Let rest 5 minutes, then slice crosswise.

Heat remaining oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Cook garlic and ¾ teaspoon pepper until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and simmer until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 1 minute. Off heat, add chicken and any accumulated juices.

Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in ricotta mixture, chicken, parsley, and ½ cup reserved pasta water, adding more pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Recipe source: Cook's Country

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