Lemon Ricotta Parmesan Pasta with Spinach and Chicken 

I don’t usually make pasta, but when I do, I make it cheesy, salty, peppery and gooey with fresh hints of lemon.

It was the first sunny day of June yesterday. So I hopped, skipped and ran out of work a little after 4 and met up with Kathleen for a 2(ish) mile walk through Ashuelot Park. Unfortunately, we did not spot any turtles like I’d hoped but heard many frogs and swatted a hundred flies. Something I have noticed since becoming the amazing athletic person that I am (…who struggles to run at least three times a week and falls weak at the knees for sea salt caramel Dove chocolates at CVS…) I’ve noticed my new shoes from Christmas seem to be causing me a lot of pain.

I thought maybe it was just my knees and shins getting used to running again, but in simply walking a few miles yesterday, the bones in my feet felt like they were crumbling and my knees felt old and tired. I’ve considered the fact that since my feet are the same size, basically, as my phone, that because they are so small they just cant handle all that’s going on up top.

But Kathleen insists its my shoes. As women in this day and age, we’re always wearing flats and flip flops with no support. So maybe my feet are just not used to the support of my sneakers, or are getting support in the wrong areas.

But what other shoes is a women supposed to wear if not horrible-for-your-posture-and-feet-support flat sandals with cute gold plates and bedazzles from Target…

Clogs? Those Teva sandals with the Velcro straps? Crocs? I’m going to have to say no.

So after our walk we needed some comfort food, as well as for other reasons besides my feet. We ate and drank Frontenac Gris while discussing the dynamics of our fathers and campsite weddings.

You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb. boneless chicken breast cut in chunks
  • 1 lb. spaghetti or penne pasta
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup part skim Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joes shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic powder

Cut your chicken into chunks or strips, however your prefer, and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat oil in a pan and cook chicken all the way through.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta al dente. Drain, reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Put the noodles back in the pot and add pasta water, cheese, lemon zest and juice, spinach, olive oil, cooked chicken and salt & pepper. Fold ingredients together. Add additional parmesan cheese and lemon juice for serving.

*Next time, I’d like to try sautéing the spinach with garlic and onion first. I’d also use less ricotta, which was kind of bland and made the pasta dry. Instead, I’d like to try and make a white wine and lemon butter sauce.

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