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Penne Pasta with Shrimp or Grilled Chicken

penne pasta with shrimp or grilled chicken; ouritalianjourney.com

Penne Pasta with Shrimp or Grilled Chicken

This pasta dish is easy and a family favorite! Alter with different ingredients to completely change the dish! Use walnuts instead of pine nuts, add fresh spinach rather than the arugula – you get the idea!!

Penne Pasta with Shrimp or Grilled Chicken

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large lemon zested and juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PASTA

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/2 stick 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, at room temperature
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons capers rinsed and drained

PROTEIN

  • You can use either shrimp or chicken for your protein. If using the shrimp purchase uncooked and add during #4 before adding the pasta. Add as much or little as you want, I usually add ½ pound. Make sure they cook completely.
  • I use precooked chicken leftovers or grilled separately and add at the end of #4 (below).

Instructions

  • Begin by making the dressing in a small bowl whisking together the olive oil, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta al dente according to the package directions. Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
  • Toast the pine nuts by arranging in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 6 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.
  • In a high-sided skillet, melt the butter completely over medium heat. Simmer until foamy; watching carefully. Continue to cook until the butter has a nutty aroma and turns a light caramel color; about 3 - 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Add the pasta, dressing, arugula, tomatoes, Parmesan, pine nuts, and capers. Toss until coated, adding the reserved pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time to loosen the sauce, if needed. 
  • Transfer to a large bowl and serve.

Notes

Recipe Credit:  This dish is a recreation from a Giada De Laurentiis original recipe.
 
ouritalianjourney.com

 

ouritalianjourney.com

 

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