This new pasta recipe was inspired by the abundance of summer basil in my backyard and the cooler evening nights when a comforting pasta sounds good again. I cannot underestimate how much lemon zest brings a dish to life. This tasted light and luxurious all at the same time. It’s a great and fast weeknight dinner with all the busyness of back to school and fancy enough for friends.
Creamy Lemon Pepper Chicken Pasta w/ Basil
Author: Tonja Engen
- 2 Tbls olive oil
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 pound chicken tenderloins
- 2 Tbls. lemon pepper seasoning
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup prepared pesto
- 2 lemons, both zested and 1 sliced, for garnish
- ½ box of penne noodles
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves
- Cook pasta according to box instructions. Drain and set aside.
- While pasta is cooking, slice chicken into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 Tbls. olive oil and lemon pepper seasoning. Mix well. Next, place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add remaining olive oil. Sear chicken until completely cooked through, 7-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Deglaze the skillet with the wine, scraping the bottom. Add the cream, mascarpone, pesto, lemon zest and 1 tsp. of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 1 to 2 minutes and allow the sauce to thicken slightly. Add the pasta to the sauce along with the frozen peas and the chicken with any juices. Stir and heat through until the sauce has thickened a little more and everything is combined, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Garnish with the basil and lemon slices.
Hi! Jen Dewing here. This looks amazing. We are going to make it tonight! Do you only use the zest or do you throw in the lemon juice too?
Use just the Zest! It does the trick. I hope you enjoy!