Cooking during the summer can be a bit of a challenge. With the rising temperatures and the sweltering heat that is upon us right now, we all want to spend less time in the kitchen and get dinner to the table as quickly as possible.
Summertime meal preparation is all about fast, easy methods and with a little bit of planning, you can serve up an uncomplicated meal that's both satisfying and delicious. This recipe calls for grilled chicken which you can prepare and cook in advance.
Ricotta & Spinach Pasta with Grilled Chicken
(adapted from cookingclassy.com)
4 large chicken breast fillets, grilled and sliced into strips
500 grams spaghetti or fettucine
1 bag fresh baby spinach, steamed until just wilted
1 cup reserved pasta water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
zest and juice of 1 lemon
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean by filling a large bowl with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any dirt or sand. Drain the water and rinse the leaves, then repeat soaking and draining process once more. Set aside.
2. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserve 1 cup pasta water before draining. Place washed spinach in the bottom of a colander then pour out the pasta to drain. The boiling hot pasta water will cook the spinach until just wilted.
3. Return pasta and spinach into pot and set over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup pasta water, olive oil, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest, lemon juice and toss to coat until ricotta is heated through. Add in more pasta water if needed, season with salt and pepper. Add in sliced chicken. Serve warm topped with more parmesan if desired.
This article also appears on PhilStar.com.