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Penne with Smoked Chicken and Mascarpone
© Ben Dearnley

Penne with Smoked Chicken and Mascarpone

  • SERVINGS: 4-6
  • FAST
  • HEALTHY
  1. 1 pound penne rigate
  2. 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  3. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 pound young green beans, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths and blanched until al dente
  6. 1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 -by-1/3-inch sticks
  7. 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  8. 1 pound boneless smoked chicken breast—skinned, trimmed of fat and shredded
  9. 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  10. Salt
  11. 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the mascarpone and sherry vinegar. Cook over low heat until melted; keep warm.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet. Add the green beans and zucchini and sauté until tender and lightly browned. Stir in the shallots and cook until softened. Add the smoked chicken and crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook just until warmed through.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetables and the mascarpone sauce; add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.
Notes The secret of this dish is using flavorful smoked chicken breasts. We love the individually packed boneless ones from Nodine's Smokehouse in Goshen, Connecticut; 800-222-2059. Serve With A plate of sliced tomatoes with basil, sprinkled with olive oil. Buy some extra mascarpone to serve with fresh figs and thin butter cookies for dessert.