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
Cheese: Asiago/Romano/Parmigiano Regiano
Marinade: Chicken Breast
Dried Rosemary & Basil
Salt & Pepper
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.