Penne Perfection

Pasta and I are friends.

Best friends.

I have to admit, when the whole "no carb" craze hit I was horrified.
What?  Pasta is bad for me?  [shock and awe].

But..then I realized people are just ridiculous.

Pasta is an art form.  Pasta is perfection.  Pasta is...well...amazing.

If people want to give it up- that's their prerogative.  But is isn't mine.  I am of the "eat a small amount and savor every piece" than inhale-a-heaping-bowl-and-five-buttered-rolls-to-boot.  I'm not willing to give up pasta, so I'll just have it in moderation and love. every. bite.

I mean, who could possibly fail to love the variety of shapes and textures?

You can even buy Bart Simpson pasta, 
for cryin' out loud!
Who knew?

And don't get me started on the neverending
galaxy of carbilicious recipes at my fingertips...

I am forever indebted to the smart computer geniuses 
who blessed me with the internet.
My stomach thanks you.

So anyway- pasta is amazing.  

Now that we have stated the obvious let me share this insane recipe with you.

Insane, I tell you.

That's the one.

Now let me tell you a few things about penne.

Penne is my favorite pasta to work with.

There are actually a couple varieties, the two most common being

 Penne lisce (smooth):

And penne rigate (furrowed):

I prefer the latter for its shape and texture.
The tubular center enables it to hold sauce, 
and the angular ends act as scoops.  
Penne rigate's ridges hold in even more saucy goodness 
and give a different textural sensation to the palate than lisce.

However many pasta die-hards prefer the lisce because it forces
the tongue to focus more on the components of the sauce than the pasta itself.


I'm all about the pasta.  
But the sauce is nice too.

Anyway- back to the recipe.
Didn't know you would be getting a scientific analysis
of pasta shapes did you?

I'm all about surprises.

If you are super enthusiastic and interested in learning more
about pasta shapes, here is a great website.
I know there are some of you out there.
Don't hide.

Recipe!  Recipe!  

The actual PW recipe is provided in the link above.
But it you are too weary and cannot find the strength
to scroll that far up and click, here she is:

Grilled Chicken with Lemon Basil Pasta

  • 4 whole Grilled Chicken Breasts, Sliced*
  • 1 pound Penne Rigate Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
  • ½ sticks Butter
  • 3 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • ¾ cups Heavy Cream
  • ¼ cups Half-and-half
  • 1-½ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • 20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped


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

In same pot, melt butter over medium heat.  Squeeze in the juice of 3 or 4 lemons.  Whisk together.  Pour in cream and half-and-half.  Whisk until hot.  Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.  Add salt and pepper.  Check consistency, adding some of the hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl.  Sprinkle remaining basil all over the top, then add sliced chicken breasts.  Serve immediately!

* I did NOT use grilled chicken, but rather just baked some chicken breasts in my oven, at 350 for 25 min, then sliced them up and threw 'em in!


Lemony-fresh.  Buttery.  Creamy.  Cheesy.

Who in the world could LIVE without pasta?
That would be sad life, indeed.

Oh penne rigate, thank you for making my life saucy.
And textured.

Okay I'm done.


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