Lemon Chicken Ricotta Pasta

ricottalemonchickpastaIt’s nap time!!!!  This is the time I wait for everyday and when all things line up perfectly, it’s magic.  Both girls are asleep, the house is quiet and I’ve got the new John Mayer CD playing (which is AMAZING – not on board with his falandering but man, he can play guitar).  This recipe is an adaptation of one that is another staple in our house and it includes ricotta. Which, as I mentioned in my last post, is becoming my fav cheese.  Ever wonder how to make creamy pasta without using cream?  RICOTTA!!  So put on your tunes and lets get cookin:)

Serves 6

16oz Italian Trottole (found this at the store and it looked fun, but use rigatoni or fusilli if you can’t find Trottole)

15oz low fat ricotta cheese

1 clove minced garlic

1tsp lemon zest

Juice of 2 1/2 lemons

1/4c grated Parmesan cheese

1tsp salt

1tsp pepper

2 Tbs olive oil

3 chicken cutlets

Handful of chopped fresh cilantro (or flat leaf parsley, i just like cilantro better!)

Fill pot with water amount that pasta directions call for and season with salt.  While you are waiting for it to come to a boil, cube your chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the cubed chicken.   Grease a pan with olive oil and put over medium heat.  Wait a minute or two for pan to heat and then place chicken in pan.  Cook thoroughly – about 3-4 minutes on each side until chicken is white throughout.  Place chicken on paper towel and set aside.  When pasta water is rapidly boiling, place pasta in pot.  Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine ricotta, juice of 1 lemon, parmesan, salt, pepper, lemon zest and garlic.  Stir until ingredients are combined and set aside.  Place a 1c measuring cup in your sink and when pasta is done, drain pasta water, being sure to catch 1c of the water in your measuring cup.  Place this reserve water aside.  Place drained pasta and chicken back in the pot and pour in ricotta mixture.  Combine until all pasta covered in mixture.  Pour in 1/4c reserve water to add moisture back into pasta and combine (you can add more if needed).  Top with chopped cilantro and right before you serve do one last squeeze of 1/2 a lemon…trust me, it makes all the difference!

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