Lemon Pesto Penne

It’s crunch time. Shelf exams for Internal Medicine are coming, argh!

I can’t believe after 3 months, I’ll have finished IM. Perhaps it’s just been so long since I took a shelf exam, but the burden of studying constantly (oh hello there Uworld Qbank and Step Up to Medicine) has definitely left me with “medicine fatigue.” It’s a good thing this is the only 3 month core we’ve got – although I certainly wouldn’t want to take the shelf if I only had 2 months to study.

IM had made it tough to cook, photograph, and post recipes, but here’s a nice quick one. I’m not a huge pasta fan, but this Lemon Pesto Penne adapted from Pinch of Yum was too simple and pretty to not try.

And right now I’m all about simple in my life (the “pretty” part… well that’s gone a bit by the wayside *cough*).

My style of cooking has lately been “hmm what random foods do I have and what can I do with this hodgepodge of ingredients.” I had the pasta, the artichokes, the tomatoes and the pesto to use up. The basil I beheaded from Joe the Basil. The broccolini took a little more effort to find, but it’s well worth it (waaay better than normal ordinary broccoli).

I made a big batch and there ya go – healthy easy food for the whole week. B doesn’t understand how I can eat the same food for seven meals, but I’m a girl who’s all about on simplicity while on internal medicine!

Lemon Pesto Penne

8 ounces whole wheat penne
1 cup broccolini
1 cooked chicken breast, cut into strips (optional)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup canned artichokes, drained
14 cup pesto
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup baby spinach
pepper to taste

Cook the penne al dente according to package directions. Add the baby broccolini to the pot of boiling water for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking until it becomes a bright green, then remove and place in cold water to blanch. Drain and return to the pan over medium high heat.

Sautee the tomatoes, broccolini, chicken, artichokes, pesto, half the parmesan cheese, and lemon juice with the pasta in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Add the spinach, and toss until spinach is just cooked. Top with remaining parmesan and pepper when serving.

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