Today was one of those days – rainy, overcast, dreary, and oh, Monday. I also had a ton of things in my fridge that I need to clean out and organize. What a better day than today to do that, and whip up something delicious with all those goodies that needed to be used up.
I had a whole spatchcocked chicken that I had already grilled and roasted last week, plus a bunch of spinach, shallots, some white beans and garlic. I thought I’d make a healthy and delicious Lemony Rosemary Chicken Pasta with Greens and Beans served in a silky, savory sauce made with lemon zest and juice, white wine, butter, olive oil and chicken stock; infused with red pepper flakes, rosemary, aged Ricotta Salata and topped off with some toasted walnuts for extra crunch.
It’s such an easy and satisfying dish to make and it’s super healthy too, with tons of protein from the chicken and beans, and vitamin c from the spinach and lemon..and the silky savory sauce is just beautiful – light and bright, perfect for Spring. I also used a whole wheat penne pasta for some extra fiber and nutty flavor to go with the toasted walnuts which give a super nice crunchy texture.
All you need is a glass of lovely white wine, and maybe some crunchy toasted bread with olive oil and more grated cheese to go with it. And forget that the sun isn’t out today. And that it’s cold and dreary. And that it’s Monday.
And just be happy where you are, right here. Right now.
This is a light and bright lemony pasta dish with roasted shredded chicken, sauteed spinach, white beans, garlic, shallots, and rosemary in a light wine and chicken broth sauce with grated ricotta salata cheese and topped with toasted walnuts for extra crunch.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 1/2 bunches of fresh spinach
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup white wine or dry sherry
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1/3 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup aged ricotta salata cheese (or grated parmesan)
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (grilled or rotisserie)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed and toasted
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Wash and trim spinach, cut shallots and garlic, drain white beans, zest and juice lemon and set aside along with other prepped ingredients (broth, wine, half and half, cheese, rosemary, red pepper flakes.)
- Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute shallots for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute.
- Increase heat to medium high, add spinach, red pepper flakes and rosemary; saute together for about 5 minutes until spinach is wilted, but still bright green.
- Add the cannelini beans and saute, stirring together for another few minutes until heated through.
- Add chicken broth, wine, lemon juice and zest and continue cooking with spinach and beans for a few minutes. Add the half and half and grated ricotta cheese, stir to combine.
- Stir in the cooked shredded chicken and cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, keep warm on medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta and drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the saute pan with the chicken, greens and beans, adding the reserved pasta water and stir to combine.
- Crush the walnuts into small pieces and toast over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes in a small saute pan until lightly browned and nutty flavor.
- Serve the pasta in large bowls with additional grated cheese, toasted walnuts, and salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe calls for whole wheat penne but you can use any pasta you desire. You can also experiment with other types of greens - chard, beet greens, dandelion greens, etc. Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese can also be used if you can't find aged Ricotta Salata. Toasted pine nuts or breadcrumbs would also be great in place of the toasted walnuts.