I clipped the original recipe for this dinner from a magazine years ago. I can't even remember which one! I've hung onto it for awhile but haven't ever made it - BIG mistake.
It's so YUMMY!
I decided to make a few adjustments to fit our family's tastes and the final result was perfect!
Creamy, lemony, slightly cheesy & bacon-y - everything a pasta dinner should be.
I hope you love it as much as we did.
Lemony Herb Pasta with Chicken, Broccoli & Bacon
4 slices bacon
2 cups chicken, cooked & cut into bite-size chunks
1 15-oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
5 Tblsp lemon juice
2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley (or 2 Tblsp dried parsley)
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 - 1 tsp salt (to your taste - start with 1/2 tsp & add more at the end, if needed)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound (16 oz) penne pasta
1 pound broccoli, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Cook bacon until crispy, crumble & set aside. Save leftover bacon grease in skillet (you'll heat up the cooked chicken in this skillet).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta, lemon juice, lemon zest, Parmesan, parsley, olive oil, salt & pepper. Set aside.
- Add penne to boiling water & cook for about 7 minutes or until tender. Add broccoli to pot for the final 3 minutes of cooking time.
- While penne is cooking, heat the same skillet you used for the bacon to medium-medium high. Add cooked, cubed chicken. Stir to coat with bacon grease. Leave in skillet until warmed thoroughly, stirring occasionally.
- When penne & broccoli are done, reserve 1 cup pasta water. Set aside.
- Drain pasta/broccoli & place in large serving bowl.
- Add ricotta mixture to serving bowl with pasta/broccoli. Stir well.
- Add heated chicken & crumbled bacon to serving bowl. Stir well to combine. Add reserved pasta water by 1/4 cupful if necessary (to increase the creaminess of the cheese mixture - you may not need any pasta water at all).
- Serve immediately.
We served this with garlic bread.