I didn’t have any spinach on hand, but decided to go ahead and make this anyways. It came together quickly and worked out very well for a weeknight meal!
Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 6 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 1 (5-ounce) bag baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 Tbsp. dried
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Start heating the pasta water in a large pot. While waiting for it to boil, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well-browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.
Salt the pasta water well and add the pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper and serve.