Don’t we all love the lemon and ricotta and lemon and parmesan combinations? And you can never go wrong with lemon, chicken and spinach. Put that all together with a fair amount of pasta and you get this simple yet hearty and satisfying Italian and Greek inspired dinner!
I love that you don’t have to make a sauce in a separate pan for this. You just add the ingredients directly to the pasta and voila. I did also try adding the spinach directly to the pasta without cooking it at all first and it didn’t seem to have a chance to fully wilt within a few minutes of cooking it with the pasta. Which is why in the recipe below I suggested cooking it separately so you don’t end up over-cooking the pasta and drying the sauce. You can even cook the spinach in the microwave if you’d like. I just add it to a microwave safe bowl, toss it with a little water then cook just until it starts to wilt, stirring it once halfway through cooking and then drain the water. My favorite way to cook it though is on a steamer basket set over a little simmering water (cover the pan with a lid). You could probably even saute it in the 2 Tbsp oil listed in the recipe then add the cooked pasta and cheeses etc.
Don’t pass this one by, it may just become a new favorite! The vibrant lemon mixed with the mellowness of the ricotta along with the slight char and depth of flavor from grilling the chicken is totally irresistible!
Lemon Ricotta Parmesan Pasta with Spinach and Grilled Chicken
Yield: About 5 - 6 servings
- 1 lb grilled chicken breasts , sliced into strips*
- 1 lb dry linguine , fettucine or spaghetti
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup reserved pasta water
- 6 oz fresh baby spinach , steamed just until beginning to wilt
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups part skim ricotta
- 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan , plus more for serving
Cook pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package, reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining pasta.
Drain water (reserve 1 cup) and return pasta to pot. Set pot over medium-low heat and add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, ricotta, 1/2 cup hot reserved pasta water and parmesan and toss to evenly coat. Add in more pasta water as desired to thin and season with salt and pepper to taste, cook and toss, about 2 minutes, until ricotta is heated through. Toss in spinach and grilled chicken. Serve warm topped with more parmesan if desired.
*I recommend brushing the chicken lightly with olive oil and season both sides salt, pepper and garlic powder before grilling.
Recipe source: Cooking Classy