Two years ago, I would have never believed that one day I would be able to make something like this – all by myself. The entire chicken artichoke pasta, meaning making the pasta dough, the filling, the Agnolotti (that’s what this pasta shape is called), and the lemon pesto. I thought, this is a meal one could only enjoy in a restaurant. But, I was proven wrong.
This chicken artichoke pasta is definitely doable for anyone who doesn’t mind taking their time and giving it a go. All you need is a little bit of patience and self-confidence and you’ll have restaurant-quality pasta on your table at home.
You might be familiar with the chicken and artichoke combo as it is sometimes used in one pot dishes and as pizza toppings. This duo works perfectly together as pasta filling, too. Adding some mascarpone makes the pasta creamy on the inside, and when you add the lemon, parsley and basil pesto, you bring a bright, fresh flavor to the dish.
Start by making the pasta dough. Don’t worry if you don’t have a kneading machine or a pasta maker, I don’t either. I always make this recipe by hand and so have to get myself into a kind of meditative state while kneading. But to save some time, you can use a kneading machine and pasta maker following the same instructions as described below.
The most tricky part might be shaping the pasta dough into Agnolotti. Once you know how to make it, it’s not as difficult as it seems. The trick is to not overload it with the filling and use as little water as possible to stick the folded dough together. Make sure to press it firmly around the edges so it won’t open up once you boil it.
I like how the shape of the Agnolotti looks, but if you’d like to take a short-cut, you can also make Raviolis. To do so, roll out the dough into a square, place the filling in little balls on it with a distance of approx. 3 cm (1.2 inch) in between them, moisten the dough with some water around the filling, cover it with another square of dough and use a pasta cutter to cut it into Ravioli squares.
I hope this recipe inspires you to make pasta from scratch and to try something you’ve never done before. It’s sure to pay off!
CHICKEN ARTICHOKE PASTA WITH LEMON PESTO
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 400 g white flour plus a little more for rolling out the dough
- 2 bunches of fresh basil
- 0.5 bunch of fresh flat parsley (use only the leaves)
- 400 ml lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 clove of garlic
- 100 grams of walnuts
- 50 grams of hazelnuts
- 30 g fresh Parmesan crumbled
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
Chicken Artichoke filling
- 400 g chicken breast
- 1 liter chicken broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200 g artichoke hearts from the jar
- 150 g mascarpone maybe a little more
- 1 tsp salt
- A little black pepper
- Salted water, boiling
- A little olive oil
- 1 pinch of fresh lemon zest
- In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly, except for the flour. Then, add the flour and make a dough, first by using a spatula and then by using your hands. As soon as the dough begins to form and it is starting to get difficult to combine the ingredients together in the bowl, transfer the dough onto your work surface and knead well with your hands for approx. 7 minutes until it’s smooth and supple. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it with foil and leave it to sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- If you’re making pasta dough for the first time, watch this video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to make and knead pasta dough.
- In the food processor bowl, use the pulse button to process the basil, parsley, lemon juice and zest until it has a paste texture.. Add the nuts and Parmesan cheese, and continue to process until there are no whole nuts remaining. Slowly drizzle in the oil, continuing to process on a low speed until it is well-integrated. Add a little bit of pepper and salt, if necessary, and set aside.
Chicken Artichoke Filling
- In a medium-sized pan, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Halve the chicken breasts and gently cook in boiling water for approx. 10 minutes, until cooked all the way through. Remove, drain and shred the chicken finely with two forks, and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté the spring onions with a pinch of salt for about 7 minutes until transparent, remove and allow to cool.
- Drain the artichoke hearts with a strainer and squeeze out all the excess liquid, and then, chop finely.
- In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, spring onions and artichokes with the mascarpone, salt and pepper until well combined. If you like it creamy, add some more mascarpone, but the consistency of the mixture should be thick enough so that you are able to make small balls by hand. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
- Cut the dough into 3 equal parts, put 2 parts back into the fridge with the foil, and roll out, as thin as possible, one portion on a lightly floured work surface until the dough is translucent (approx. 1 mm). Continually remove the dough from the work surface while rolling it out so it won’t stick to the surface. Cut out 10 cm approx. circles using a glass or cutter. Gather the remaining dough, wrap it in foil, and place in the fridge to chill. Make small balls with the chicken filling and place in the middle of the circles. Use your finger to moisten the edges of the dough circles with very little water, then fold them into a crescent shape with the filling in the middle and press the edges down firmly where they meet. Combine the two corners, placing one on top of the other, at the center of the half-moon. Press firmly. Place the Agnolotti on a piece of lightly floured wood or a cutting board, cover with foil, and refrigerate until you decide to boil them. Repeat with each piece, including the left-over dough you have from each of the 3 batches.
- Place a little bit of the lemon pesto in the center of each plate. Boil plenty of water in a large pot, salt well and cook the Agnolotti in it for about 4 minutes al dente, drain well and place on the lemon pesto. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, sprinkle them with fresh lemon zest, and serve immediately.