One of my mom’s favorite meals was Johnny Marzetti. When I was Googling the history of the name of Johnny Marzetti, I noticed a lot of the recipes bake it. The difference with my recipe is that I don’t. My recipe is more of an American goulash.
My aunt came into town and helped me rearrange my pantry. Once I knew what was in my pantry, it was easy to decide what to make for dinner.
I had some Pasta Roni’s Butter and Garlic noodles, sundried tomatoes, black olives, chickpeas, and canned chicken in the pantry. What could I make for dinner?
I cooked up one box of the butter and garlic noodles and added the drained chicken to the noodles.
Once I cooked up the other box of the noodles, I placed half of it in the other bowl. With the other half, I added sundried tomatoes, black olives, and drained chickpeas. YUM! It sort of reminded me of my favorite dish at Piada.
I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website. Since I had put some lemon chicken in the freezer, I decided this would complement the chicken. The pasta dish is pure heaven. Okay, maybe not pure heaven. However, it was delicious, and the smells coming from cooking it or heating it up made me happy. In fact, I took it to work for lunch, and one of my fellow teachers complimented me on the smell of the dish. If you get a chance, make this dish and escape to happiness from the taste and smell.
Stars of the Recipe
1 pound Penne Pasta, Cooked Until Al Dente
½ sticks Butter
3 whole Lemons, Juiced (I also used some lemon rind to add another depth of flavor.)
¾ cups Heavy Cream (I used heavy whipping cream.)
¼ cups Half-and-half
1-½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano)
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
20 whole Basil Leaves, Chopped (I used basil paste in a tube. It’s all I could find. I used maybe a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half. I didn’t measure.)
Cook pasta, reserving 1 cup of hot pasta water when you drain.
Set pasta aside in a colander.
In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat.
Squeeze in the juice of 3 to 4 lemons. (Also, use a Microplane to grate some rind.)
Pour in cream and half-and-heat. Whisk until hot.
Dump in cheese and whisk until melted.
Add salt, pepper, and basil.
Check consistency, adding some hot pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed. (I didn’t need to add that much.)
Pour pasta and sauce into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle the remaining basil all over the top. (I skipped this step.)
This recipe is great as a side dish or eaten by itself.