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
spaghetti, linguini or other pasta
extra-virgin olive oil
red bell pepper seeded, deveined and cut into strips (optional)
white, yellow, or sweet onion, peeled and sliced into strips
cloves garlic, minced
baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
grated zest of 1 lemon, either regular Eureka or Meyer
breast of turkey or 2 breasts of chicken or 2 thighs, skinned, pulled off the bone and torn into bite-size pieces
juice of 1/2 to one lemon, strained to remove seeds
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.
While pasta is cooking, pour a good drizzle of olive oil into a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Add optional red pepper and the onion and sauté until just tender; add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add baby spinach and sauté briefly; add grated lemon peel when softened. Sauté briefly until dark green and wilted. 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 poultry, add them in too.
Raise heat to medium high and simmer sauce until slightly reduced, about a minute or two. Add turkey or chicken strips, stir until warmed through, about 30 seconds. Stir in pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste; serve.