Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chicken and Spinach with Pasta

Tonight was a special celebratory dinner in our household. It's the night before the last day of school for the boys….We call it The Eve of the Last day of School! They are so excited and so am I. Oh who am I kidding I'm even more excited than they are! For 2 months no more packing lunches, no more homework, no more laying out clothes and no more rigid structure! Yippee!

To celebrate this amazing occasion for me, I mean the boys, I made a full of flavor, healthy, easy to prepare chicken and spinach pasta dish. There were only 7 ingredients total but it was truly just bursting with flavor. Only 7 ingredients you say? Yep, chicken breasts, baby spinach, spaghetti, garlic, parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes and olive oil. That's it! The other great thing about this dish is that it's a 30 minute meal…fantastic for serving on a weeknight. The boys couldn't get enough they thought it was that good. Luckily Dave was out of town tonight because there wouldn't have been any left for him…that's how much the boys ate. I had to stop them at three servings! My litmus test of the quality of a meal I cook is by what's left on one's plate…this was a keeper recipe because I didn't see a speck left on their plates! Salute to a must try pasta dish to celebrate the night before the last day of school…woo hoo!

Delicious, easy to prepare, healthy
You wont stop at one plate!
Perfect meal for any occasion, even the night before the last day of school!
Yay! One more day of school! 
School's out for summer! 
No more homework, tests, projects or reading logs to fill out!
Great meal after a good swim! Nate adding extra parm cheese to everyone's plate.
Obviously Nate didn't add enough to Zachary's plate…he is our cheese lover don't forget!
Chicken and Spinach with Pasta (Click to print recipe)

Preparation and cook time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6 (or 3 very hungry boys!)

  • 1 pound of spaghetti cooked according to package
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 10 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 2 pinches of crushed pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • reserved juice from chicken breast (from resting on plate)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shaved parmesan cheese as garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and bake in oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes until browned or no longer pink in the middle. Set aside when done being cooked. After 5 minutes, slice chicken breasts into strips and set juice aside. Meanwhile cook spaghetti according to package. When spaghetti is done strain the water and place pasta back in pot. Add olive oil, 1/2 cup chicken stock, grated parmesan cheese, baby spinach, crushed pepper flakes, garlic and add reserved juice from chicken. Stir until well blended. Add salt n pepper to taste. Place spaghetti in a serving bowl and add sliced chicken to top and add shaved parmesan cheese to top. Serve with a side salad and artisan bread.

Food Impressions:

Nate: "One word mom…YUM!"

Tyler: "After just one bite my food impression is this is awesome."

Zachary: "This is so good I promise I will lick my plate clean." And he did!

Andrea: I can't wait to make this again because it was so good, easy to make and flavorful. When I talked with Dave on the phone I told him he missed out on a great meal. I will make this again when we have friends or family over for dinner.

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