Lemony Pasta with Turkey (or Chicken) and Spinach

February 24, 2015
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

  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves about 4-6
  • 1 pound spaghetti, linguini or other pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded, deveined and cut into strips (optional)
  • 1 white, yellow, or sweet onion, peeled and sliced into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 ounces baby spinach leaves, rinsed and spun dry
  • grated zest of 1 lemon, either regular Eureka or Meyer
  • 1 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
  • salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
  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. 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.
  3. 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.

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