Pesto Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Lemon Ricotta

Pesto Chicken Pasta

with Brussels Sprouts & Lemon Ricotta

25 MIN
2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This simple pasta—featuring tender chicken and roasted brussels sprouts and onion—gets a bright flavor boost from our herbaceous basil pesto, plus a dollop of creamy lemon ricotta served on top.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      810 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Pesto Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Lemon Ricotta
    Title
    • 7 oz Chicken Tenders
    • 6 oz Cavatappi Or Lumaca Rigata Pasta
    • ½ lb Brussels Sprouts
    • 1 Red Onion
    • 1 Lemon
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ½ cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon ricotta
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon ricotta

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the brussels sprouts; quarter lengthwise. Halve and peel the onion; cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, separating the layers. Using a zester or the small side of a box grater, zest the lemon to get 1 teaspoon. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 

    Roast the vegetables
    2 Roast the vegetables

    Place the quartered brussels sprouts and onion wedges on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water.
    If you received cavatappi pasta, cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite).
    If you received lumaca rigata pasta, cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite).
    Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook & chop the chicken
    4 Cook & chop the chicken

    Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the chopped chicken, roasted vegetables, pesto, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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    Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon ricotta
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the lemon ricotta

    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat to 450°F. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut off and discard the stem ends of the brussels sprouts; quarter lengthwise. Halve and peel the onion; cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges, separating the layers. Using a zester or the small side of a box grater, zest the lemon to get 1 teaspoon. Quarter and deseed the lemon. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon zest, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 

    2 Roast the vegetables

    Place the quartered brussels sprouts and onion wedges on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer. Roast 13 to 15 minutes, or until browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven.

    Roast the vegetables
    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water.
    If you received cavatappi pasta, cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite).
    If you received lumaca rigata pasta, cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite).
    Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    4 Cook & chop the chicken

    Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board. When cool enough to handle, chop into bite-sized pieces.

    Cook & chop the chicken
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the chopped chicken, roasted vegetables, pesto, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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