Garlic Chicken Pasta with Basil and Spinach

Garlic Chicken Pasta with Basil and Spinach

Garlic and chicken go so well together.  So does chicken and pasta, as does pasta and basil.  Why not then a Garlic Chicken Pasta with Basil and Spinach?  Great combination.  This is a simple and flavorful recipe, sure to please even the fussiest chicken eater.

Ingredients:
6 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/4 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 Pound Penne Pasta
1 (5-ounce) Bag Baby Spinach
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
6 Tablespoons Juice from 2 Lemons
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. While waiting, combine garlic, pepper flakes and oil in a small frying pan and heat over medium heat until garlic is golden and fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut into bite-size pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the garlic/red pepper oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat until oil is rippling. Add chicken and cook until well browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to boiling water and cook until tender but still slightly firm (al dente). Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to the pot. Stir in chicken, spinach, basil, lemon juice, Parmesan, and remaining garlic mixture, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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