Rigatoni With Creamy Basil Pesto & Blackened Chicken

Creamy, herbaceous, peppery and savory, creamy basil pesto with blackened chicken is always a hit. Crack open a light Bardolino and enjoy the comforting flavors presented in every bite of this easy pasta.




Serves 4-6


▢ 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
▢ 1 tsp dried oregano
▢ 1 tsp dried basil
▢ 1 tsp salt
▢ 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
▢ 1/2 tsp onion powder
▢ 1/2 tsp paprika
▢ 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
▢ 2 tbsp EVOO

▢ 1/2 lb Bona Furtuna Rigatoni Pasta
▢ 2 tbsp EVOO

▢ 1/2 cup heavy cream
▢ 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to serve
▢ 1 jar Bona Furtuna Basil Almond Pesto
▢ Zest 1 lemon
▢ 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the chicken, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper in a bowl and toss to evenly coat the chicken.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Cook the Rigatoni until al dente, roughly 11 minutes.
  4. While the water comes to a boil, place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp olive oil.
  5. When the pan is hot, add the chicken and sear until nicely browned. Turn over and place the pan in the oven.
  6. Bring a large saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tbsp olive oil, Basil Almond Pesto, lemon zest, pinch of chili pepper flakes, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and cream. Stir until it all comes together.
  7. When the pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the saucepan with 1/4 cup pasta water and stir continuously until the sauce is clinging to the Rigatoni.
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven, slice and serve overtop of the pasta with a fresh sprinkling of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
  9. Mangiamo.
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