Living in California, it’s a somewhat regular occurrence for people with a lemon tree to give you a bunch of lemons. To this girl who grew up in Idaho, this still amazes me as good lemons are not easy to come by in that dry northern state. So I revel in this abundance and love adding lemon to many different things. Thankfully, lemon and garlic go very well together and so I invented the below pasta “recipe” (though a friend tells me that I should quit calling these “recipes” since they’re so vague) and it’s one of my favourite things to eat. After not making it for a couple months, I threw it together last night and remembered how amazing it is…so refreshing and delicious! (And yes, I know this is the second pasta recipe in a row, but pasta happens to be one of my husband’s favourite foods, so I’ve invented quite a few pasta “recipes” since we’ve been married.)
Lemon Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach
Cook a pound of pasta (I like to use fusilli). While the pasta is cooking, melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan and add one head of garlic, roughly chopped and one small onion, chopped fine. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, making sure not to let the garlic and onion burn, but develop a nice browned outside. While the garlic and onion are browning, zest three to four lemons using the fine side of a cheese grater. After zesting, juice the lemons and set juice aside. Without washing the grater, finely grate some asiago cheese and mix with the lemon zest. After the garlic and onions are browned, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Once the butter and lemon juice have emulsified, whisk in a little water. Salt and pepper generously. By this time, your pasta should be almost done. Drain and pour into a large bowl. Dump a bunch of fresh baby spinach on top of the pasta (remember, it will shrink down considerably as it wilts so make sure to use a lot). Add some thinly-sliced grilled chicken on top of the spinach. Pour the lemon-garlic sauce over everything and top with the grated cheese and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly and set aside for a couple minutes in a warm place to let the spinach wilt some. Mix thoroughly again and serve.