Spaghetti with Spinach, Garlic and Grilled Chicken Breast

Spaghetti with Spinach, Garlic and Grilled Chicken Breast

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page

I was originally just thinking about doing a simple pasta dish using Spinach and Garlic. I saw this particular dish on television and thought of fabricating it my way.

There are days that I just crave for pasta, and like I said in my previous article on Spaghetti Alla Pomodoro, pasta is my kind of fastfood. It’s easy to make when the ingredients are all on-hand. Furthermore, ingredients can also be substituted by other vegetables or protein. This day was just one of them, and I really couldn’t help myself making one. I had a canned of Marzano Italian Tomatoes in my pantry, unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to make my tomato sauce.

It was also at this time that I was in the process of cleaning my fridge of bits and pieces of ingredients from my previous articles, and due to time constraints brought about by work, I neglected what was inside my fridge. I did some marketing earlier this week, but that was to cover dinners for the next couple of days. I somehow missed out on what I already had, and for me that was really annoying. Nevertheless, I had to use them one way or the other, and I really wanted to use them now or they might spoil sooner or later.

Anyway, just to basically clean my fridge of leftovers, I went to the grocery and bought a stick of butter. That was my goal for the afternoon. Butter was essential to the success of this pasta dish. I came from work and I was tired. Moreover, the preparation of this dish has been bugging me for several days now and it just had to come out one way or the other. In the grocery, I saw several huge blocks of salted butter which I really wouldn’t need. It would usually last me six months just to finish one block, and the smaller sticks were unavailable. Looking at the display, I saw a compound butter containing garlic, onion powder and wine, and it was a small stick. I really wanted just the salted butter, but upon seeing this one, I knew I found what I wanted.

Looking further beneath my fridge, I saw a piece of chicken breast I bought specifically for my Chinese noodle dishes. They came in pairs and the other was left sitting thawed. That had to go as well.

1/3 of a box of Spaghetti
2 tbps. Compound butter
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Bunch of Spinach
1 small Chicken Breast
Lemon Juice
Cheese: Asiago/Romano/Parmigiano Regiano

Marinade: Chicken Breast
Dried Rosemary & Basil
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

Start a pot of salted water for the Spaghetti, and follow the required time on the box to achieve desired firmness.

Begin grilling the chicken breast. Season with salt & pepper and squeeze some lemons while grilling.

In a sauté pan, start heating the olive oil and butter. Add the garlic until aromatic. Turn the heat to low-medium to prevent the garlic and butter from burning or remove it from the heat.

Dump in the bunch of spinach and add about ½ a cup to a cup of pasta water into the pan up until the spinach wilts. Dowse with white wine and adjust the heat to medium-high. Strain the pasta from the pot and add the Spaghetti to the pan together with the rest of the ingredients. Continue stirring. Squeeze a lemon and add more wine or pasta water as desired. Season to taste.

Remove the breast from the grill and let it rest on a plate for a few minutes. Cut roughly and dump it in the pan.

Add the cheese and stir the pasta a couple of more times.

Plate and garnish with fresh basil, and sprinkle with olive oil before serving.

The grilled chicken I added was extra. I just wanted to get rid of it, and this pasta dish seemed to work perfectly.

The key ingredients to this dish are the compound butter and pasta water. Set aside enough pasta water while sautéing. Without those two, this dish won’t just work. There isn’t any actual sauce added in the pasta. Fresh vegetables and cheese are also vital to achieving the desired taste and consistency of the noodles.

Share on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Email this to someonePrint this page
When I was growing up, my parents and I used to eat out and try different restaurants after celebrating the Sunday Mass. Moreover, during the course of the summer break, I had the opportunity to see some places which, when looking back, I had never realized how lucky I was as a teen to be able to travel. My family and I went to Europe and some parts of the United States, and what I saw along that path of my life inspired me to become a 'Chef.' The 'whites' they wore for me, during those growing-up and finding 'myself' years, portrayed a sort of fascinating and powerful figure in an extremely sophisticated, higly inviting and invigorating work place; and still maintain an unblemished and clean uniform after a very busy service. That picture of a 'Chef' stuck to my head for so many years.

True enough, with meager resources left to spend for the youngest, that dream never happened. Life went on. I went to university and studied an insignificant course, Business Management, and after graduating, I ended up working as a Credit and Financial Analyst in the banking industry in Manila; slugging it out in the corporate arena in Makati. It was the first taste of being called a 'yuppie' and was almost always looking forward to an after-office eating and drinking extravaganza in the expanding and growing Makati Business District; and, of course, the weekend.

Anyway, forging ahead to my life today, that dream as 'Chef' stayed in the back of my mind all the time that when I left the Philippines for Toronto in 2003; and after finally settling down on my own in 2005, I had started studying Professional Culinary Arts Courses in the City College to get that almost long-forgotten 'dream' going again. It was a Continuing Education Course, and more or less, students who have also shifted careers or who were trying to find work (like myself) as a newly landed found ourselves working with pots, knives and fire which I believe and I felt, everyone in class have never, ever touched during their past, professional lives.

Since then, I have been working in and out of different kitchens; flipping eggs and hamburgers, grilling steaks, shoving bread and chicken in a 500'C oven, and almost anything that can be either deep-fried or toasted just to serve hungry, sometimes pesky, customers. I became a 'grease' cook; a short-order cook with no definite place of employment, and definitely not a 'Chef.'

My articles are based on the after-thoughts of my past and present day experiences in this fast-paced, starkling, and sometimes disheveling kitchen environment. I never imagined that a kitchen 'worklife' turned that way as against the 'Ideal' environment I had thought about for years. No regrets. During this journey, I've discovered food which I've never thought I'd be able to taste. I learned to appreciate wine and travel more; now that I have understood the culture of food to society. That was non-existent when I was growing up.

This journey has not ended. I'm still discovering and still learning. It's a tough industry to be in and for what's next or for where I'll finally end up in remain a sordid mystery.

3 thoughts on “Spaghetti with Spinach, Garlic and Grilled Chicken Breast

  1. This is fabulous. I sometimes do something similar. Chicken or beef, whatever is in my freezer, and any vegetable in my fridge. Normally I would just pan-fry the meat and blanch the vegies, then everything tossed with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge