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Penne Pasta in Lemon Basil Almond Sauce

This sauce is so easy but yet, so impressive! Just throw the sauce ingredients into a blende and warm it in a skillet till it warms through and thickens.

1 pound penne pasta

2 cups (9 ounces) blanched, slivered almonds

2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock

3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

2 store-bought, rotisserie chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

1 cup frozen peas

3/4 cup half n' half (or heavy cream for a richer sauce)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups grated Parmesan

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a blender, combine the almonds, chicken stock, Eureka Lemon Olive Oil, and garlic. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture into a large skillet and turn the heat on to medium. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chicken, peas, and half n' half. Cook, stirring frequently until the chicken is heated through, about 4 minutes (mixture will be thick). Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Put the cooked pasta into a serving bowl and add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Toss together until the pasta is coated. Add the chicken mixture, the remaining cheese and the basil. Toss the ingredients together, adding the reserved pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

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