Lemon and Mascarpone Penne with Basil Chicken and Asparagus

Hellooo may I introduce you to creamy pasta perfection?



I try to maintain diversity in my recipes: partly so that at  any one time there will be something to please everyone at the top of my archives but also because I love trying out new techniques, ingredients and cuisines. I am aware, however, that I have been frequently returning to pasta based dishes recently…. I do appologise for this but it is rainy and freezing cold (there were even touches of snow this week!) and the only thing I fancy eating in such conditions is pasta. Then again I imagine the majority of you will feel the same so hopefully some more pasta inspiration is just what you are all in need of! (?) If not then I have a delicious halloumi salad recipe coming up later on this week for you to look forward to!

Okay so I have promised you creamy pasta perfection – this is achieved with three simple ingredients: mascarpone, parmesan and pasta water. This combo seasoned with generous amounts of salt and pepper is already pretty close to perfection if you ask me, but the marinated chicken plus fresh veg and basil really bring it up to cloud nine, finish the entire saucepan in one sitting levels of sheer delight. As I always say you can discard any ingredients that you dislike – don’t add the chicken if you are vegetarian and leave out the vegetables if for some crazy reason you don’t like asparagus (does anyone not like asparagus??).

Also I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been following/ reading my blog and trying out my recipes – it brings me endless happiness when you contact me or comment on my posts with your thoughts and suggestions. The constant support and feedback is just so lovely and helps motivate me to keep attempting to create, write about and photograph delicious food.




Serves 2 

Prep time – 10 minutes 

Cooking time 15 minutes 


  • 2 chicken breast fillets cut into small chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp crushed chili
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 large handful of basil, chopped
  • 250 g mascarpone
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 200g dried penne
  • 10 g parmesan, finely grated
  • 50 g spinach
  • 200 g asparagus with the ends removed and then cut the tips into quarters


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. In a large bowl mix together the chicken chunks, olive oil, paprika, chili flakes and mixed herbs. Add in half of the lemon zest and juice and half of the basil and season generously with salt and pepper. Pour the chicken onto a baking tray and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.
  3. In a large frying pan or similar heat the butter on medium heat and stir in the garlic to fry for a few minutes. Add the mascarpone and squeeze in the remaining lemon juice, parmesan and two tablespoons of pasta water. Season this with salt and pepper, add in the vegetables and basil and then bring to the boil. Let this boil away for five minutes until the sauce thickens up.
  4. Remove the chicken from the oven and drain the pasta and the add both of these into the saucepan. Stir until everything is evenly coated in the sauce and then serve.

I hope that you enjoyed this recipe! Please let me know in the comments what you think and do not forget to subscribe or follow my Instagram for more recipes from me! The links to do both can be found in the side bar >>>

52 thoughts on “Lemon and Mascarpone Penne with Basil Chicken and Asparagus

  1. One-Way to Health says:

    Woooow this looks and sounds amazing! I love your blog and your photos! I am a nutritionist and I just started my own blog about healthy and affordable eating where I also will be talking about nutrition topics. Feel free to check it out and I’m looking forward to your future posts! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

    Liked by 3 people

  2. treadlemusic says:

    This sounds totally FAB!!!!! You’re so right!! Who doesn’t luv asparagus???? I think I would do a quick chicken saute in the fry pan, remove and continue with the recipe as written, adding it back as you did from the oven. I can almost taste that creamy sauce now!!!!!! YUM!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The Balanced Home says:

    Hey! I tried this dish tonight and we LOVE it! I will be making it again for sure. When I made ours I noticed a bit of grease that separated from the rest of the dish and pooled around the bottom of the plate. Have you ever run into any problems like this? Do you have any suggestions for avoiding this? Possibly cooking at a lower temperature! Any ideas or insights would be appreciated! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wish to Dish says:

      Ah yay I’m so glad that you made it and enjoyed it!! โ˜บโ˜บ I haven’t ever had thay issue with this dish no – maybe add a little less oil to the chicken or use some kitchen towel to absorb any excess grease from it before adding it to the marscapone?


  4. myfoodieideas says:

    What a beautiful dish, I love the photos very colourful and mouth-watering. What is the closest thing to mascarpone cheese? Philadelphia cream cheese or sour cream? I am lactose intolerant you see and I can get those two with lactose free milk. I will make this dish next weekend yumm. Thank you again. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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