First, let me start by saying, I love this pasta! Lemon has been on my mind ever since the weather turned warmer. The lemon flavor is both refreshing and light, the perfect dinner on a warm day! This was my second attempt at this dish. The first time I made it, it called for grilled chicken seasoned with some salt and pepper, which there is nothing wrong with, but I thought the chicken had more taste potential with a marinade. My mind immediately thought of a lemon poppy seed dressing. I had trouble finding a similar dressing in the store, so I ended up purchasing a poppy seed dressing and adding the zest of a lemon to create the marinade I was looking for. What a difference the marinade made. The chicken was moist and flavorful and the fresh lemon juice added to the pasta made this meal so light and tasty!
Lemon Chicken Pasta
1 pound dried penne
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup Poppy seed dressing
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Place about 1/2 cup of poppy seed dressing into a plastic zip-top bag. Add the zest of one lemon. Place chicken in bag and marinate for 2 to 4 hours.
Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Drain well.
Remove chicken and discard marinade. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large grill pan over medium high and add chicken. Grill until golden and completely cooked. Remove to a plate and allow chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing.
Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to a sauté pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté until fragrant. Add the cooked pasta and turn heat off. Mix all together.
Remove pasta to a large bowl. Add chicken to the warm pasta and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle in chopped parsley. Add the juice of 2 lemons and mix. Before serving top with parmesan.
Source adapted from: www.foodnetwork.com/down-home-with-the-neelys