Spring Pesto Penne

A savory citrus infused pasta medley


  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • ½ pound boneless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 5 leaves of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces of Classico® Traditional Basil Pesto
  • ¼ pound of penne pasta, cooked al dente and pasta water reserved


Heat olive oil and butter in a nonstick pan over low heat.  Add bay leaf and garlic to the sauté pan; cook until garlic is fragrant.  Then add chicken to pan, followed by a squeeze of lemon juice, a chiffonade of basil, and a sprinkle of salt; cook until chicken is golden over medium low heat.  Flip chicken over and season with crushed red pepper, garlic powder, and salt to taste; heat through for a couple of minutes. Add pesto, pasta, and 3 tablespoons of pasta water to the pan (or as needed to reach desired consistency).  Heat for another 5 minutes or so until chicken is cooked well.

Discard bay leaf and transfer pasta to a serving plate.  Garnish with fresh lemon slices and sprigs of basil.  Serve warm.

Cook’s note:

  • Be our guest and substitute your favorite pesto.

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