I wanted pasta for dinner the other night because I’m still eating a bit cautiously after oral surgery last week and the idea of tender pasta was appealing. Actually, I love pasta and I’m happy to eat it even when my mouth is fine.
We had a rotisserie chicken in the fridge and a box of spinach in the freezer, so I did a quick search online for recipes using chicken, pasta and spinach and found this recipe on Healthy. Delicious. Of course you could cook up a chicken breast or two and start with a big bag of fresh spinach but for me this recipe is about a yummy and easy dish with stuff I had on hand.
Chicken, Spinach and Pasta with Creamy Feta Sauce
Adapted from Healthy Delicious
8 ounces pasta – a big, chunky shape worked well
3 tablespoon butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups milk – I used 2% because that’s what we have in the fridge
4 ounces feta cheese
2 cups shredded chicken
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach – thawed with moisture squeezed out
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
zest from one lemon
I was rushing with the photos so I completely forgot to show the butter, milk and flour. Or the oregano. Oops. I wanted to share this recipe here because it looked like a winner, but I also wanted to get dinner made and to sit down and eat it. The lemon zest I decided to add later, so I don’t feel bad that I didn’t take a picture of the lemon. Sorry.
Cook the pasta as directed on the package. While it is cooking, proceed with the sauce.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring for a few minutes, so it is a nice, toasty color.
Put the half and half and milk in a microwave safe bowl or large, glass measuring cup and heat. My microwave isn’t super powerful and 1 minute was enough so the mixture was warmish. It could have used another 20 seconds. You don’t want it to boil, just to warm it up before adding to the butter/flour roux.
Add the warm milk mixture to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes or until it has thickened a bit, stirring frequently.
The pasta, meanwhile, should be about done. When pasta is done, drain in a colander, and return to the pot. Toss with remaining tablespoon of butter.
Stir chicken and spinach into pot with pasta.
When sauce is cooked, remove from heat. Stir in crumbled feta cheese, oregano, chili powder, black pepper and lemon zest.
Pour sauce into pot with pasta and stir to combine.
All the flavors and textures worked well together. If I’d been a little more organized, I would have saved some of the lemon zest for garnish and made prettier pictures, but I wasn’t and I didn’t. It was very good and something I’m sure I’ll make again. I hope you give it a try.
Thanks for your visit.