When you’re using whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta, high quality makes all the difference. (My favorite brands are Sfoglini and Rustichella d'Abruzzo.) And, I know, I’m asking you to chop a lot of herbs here. I like a hefty portion because it cuts the richness of the sauce. However, if you go with just parsley and basil, it’s quick to get to 1/2 cup.

Featured in: A Creamy, Spicy Pasta Dish to Warm Your Soul.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large shallots, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, plus more, for serving
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces (340g) short whole-wheat pasta (penne, rigatoni, and macaroni are my favorites here)
4 cups (960ml) chicken stock or water
2 cups (390g) shredded chicken
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano, parsley, sage, and basil, plus more, for serving
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

Step 1
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots, Aleppo pepper (or crushed red pepper), salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shallots are soft and golden, 5 to 8 minutes.

Step 2
Stir in the pasta and stock (or water), cover, and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and cook, stirring frequently and making sure there’s no pasta stuck to the bottom of the pot, until the pasta is almost tender and cooked through, 8 to 12 minutes. (This will depend on the brand and shape you’re using.) Stir in the chicken and cream and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in the herbs, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Step 3
Serve hot, sprinkled with more herbs and Aleppo pepper.