Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chicken Pesto Pasta With Spinach

This is an easy-to-make, easy-to-keep-on-hand recipe...and a great use for leftover chicken.  I don't add any extra salt to this dish.

8 oz. dried ziti pasta
1 packet (1.8 ounces) Knorr Cream of Spinach Recipe Mix
3/4 cup water
1 cup 2% milk
2 tablespoons pesto
2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped or 1 box (9 ounces) Perdue Short Cuts Carved Chicken Breast, Original Roasted variety, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Freshly ground black pepper and Italian Seasoning, to taste
2 cups baby spinach leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish
Chopped tomato, for garnish

Boil ziti for 8 minutes; drain, reserving 1/2 cup water from the pot.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk together cream of spinach recipe mix, 3/4 cup water and milk in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low and cook for five minutes.  Whisk in pesto.  Set aside.

In a large skillet (or the used pasta pot), heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, garlic and green onion.  Season with pepper and Italian seasoning.  Heat through, approximately three minutes.  Add the reserved pasta water to deglaze the pan.  Stir in the spinach leaves.  Cook until wilted.  Add pasta and sauce; stir well.

Spoon out onto serving plates and top with Parmesan and tomato.

4 generous servings
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