Lemony Pasta with Turkey (or Chicken) and Spinach

By • February 24, 2015 4 Comments

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Lemony Pasta with Turkey (or Chicken) and Spinach

Author Notes: This came about as a way to use leftover roasted chicken; you can use leftover turkey or rotisserie takeout chicken for a quick dinner. The following can be altered to size and taste by adding or decreasing ingredients. It makes a simple family dinner.creamtea


Serves about 4-6

  • 1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper (optional) seeded deveined and cut into strips
  • 1 white or yellow onion (optional), peeled and sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 turkey or chicken breast or thigh meat, skinned, pulled off the bone and torn into shreds
  • juice of 1/2 to one lemon, strained to remove seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Fill a large pot with water, add salt to taste, and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti, turn down heat and simmer until al dente. Reserve about a ladle-full of cooking water to be added to the spinach. Drain.
  2. Into a large sauté pan, over medium-low heat pour a good drizzle of olive oil. Add optional onion and red pepper and sauté until just tender; add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add baby spinach and sauté; add grated lemon peel when softened. Sauté briefly until dark green and tender. Add juice of lemon and the ladleful of pasta cooking water; if there are any pan juices (liquid if warm, gelled if cold) from the chicken breast, add them in too.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and simmer sauce until slightly reduced, about a minute or two. Add turkey or chicken strips, stir until warm. Stir in pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; serve.

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