Pasta Shells with Artichoke Cream and Smoked Chicken










The toasty oak flavors and creamy finish of a Russian River Chardonnay are a great partner to this smoky, creamy pasta dish.


One 8-ounce jar oil-packed artichoke bottoms, drained (see Note)

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2  cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 pound medium pasta shells
  • 3/4 pound skinless smoked chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2-by- 1/3-inch strips
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

In a small saucepan, season the artichokes with salt and pepper and simmer them in the cream over moderately low heat until very tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer the artichokes and cream to a blender and puree. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  • In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the shells and return them to the pan. Add the artichoke cream, smoked chicken, tomatoes and chives; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowls and serve.
Notes: Be sure not to buy marinated artichokes; the tangy marinade will overwhelm the flavor of this dish.

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