Lemony Weeknight Pasta

Whenever we are hungry but there are no clear dinner plans or obvious ingredients to cook, it is easy to turn to pasta. Whatever we have around can go right in, and the result is usually delicious. This pasta was a really great, impromptu creation that I will intentionally whip up again. To make it, bring a well-salted pot of water to boil, and cook a heavy-duty pasta like bow ties according to the package’s instructions. While the water is heating, dice up 1-2 chicken breasts into bite-sized chunks, and sautée them in olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

While the chicken cooks, chop up 1/2 onion, 3 garlic cloves, and some broccoli florets. When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a side plate, and add the vegetables into the same pan to soften. Add more olive oil if the pan is dry, and sprinkle in some pine nuts to toast along with the veggies. Season them with salt and pepper.

Drain the pasta when it is finished cooking, and set it aside. Add a little bit of olive oil to the pot the pasta cooked in along with some halved cherry tomatoes and 2 big handfuls of baby spinach. Put the lid on the pot, and, over medium heat, allow the spinach to wilt and the tomatoes to burst.

When your pan of onion, garlic, and broccoli is softened, add the chicken back in along with the cooked pasta and a handful of frozen peas. Drizzle everything with olive oil and the juice from 1 lemon. When the spinach is wilted, toss it and the tomatoes in with the rest of the pasta. Transfer everything to a serving bowl, and generously top the pasta with grated parmesan cheese.

Although there are a lot of ingredients in this pasta and seemingly a lot of steps, they all go by really quickly if you maximize your time by completing tasks while other ingredients are cooking. Following this method, you will also dirty only one pan and one pot (amazing). For a quick dinner that has protein and veg, this pasta is a winner.

Shopping list:

  • Chicken breast- 1 or 2
  • Dried pasta
  • Onion- 1/2
  • Garlic- 3 cloves
  • Broccoli- 1/2 cup
  • Pine nuts- 1 handful
  • Cherry tomatoes- 1/2 cup
  • Baby spinach leaves- 2 big handfuls
  • Peas- 1/4 cup
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon- 1
  • Salt and pepper
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