If you are a regular on this blog, you know that we don’t eat a lot of pasta in our house. Believe me, if I could have pasta every night I would – but since my husband is not a huge fan, I have created a special place for pasta in our house. My husband has to travel from time to time, and my girls hate it when he goes away – they definitely love their Daddy. So, a while ago I decided that as a treat when he is away, we have pasta for dinner. There are no more tears when he is away now – all because of a little pasta – wow, I bet you never knew pasta could be that powerful.
Needless to say, we have a lot of pasta recipes cut out of various magazines that my daughters are waiting for me to make. It used to be that they would only eat plain pasta – no sauce, no vegetables, no nothing. Just noodles. Slowly I have broken them out of this mold. Now, remember my story about the Spinach Bites, and how I got my older daughter to eat spinach, not just eat, but LOVE spinach? Well, it was time to try something new – and see if that carries over to other dishes. I found this recipe in Cooking Light and figured that it was basically like a mac-n-cheese with chicken and spinach – well, not only did my older daughter devour this, my younger one ate her entire helping, and asked for more! Success!! I was seriously impressed – but this was a pretty delicious dinner, I had three helpings. So – if your kids hate spinach, don’t try this first – go for the Spinach Bites. But if you have moved past that, and are ready for something a little more risky – I have got the recipe for you. Go on, give it a try, what’s the worst that can happen, you have to eat the chicken and spinach remnants from their bowl? You will still thank me…
- 2 (6-ounce) bone-in chicken breasts, skinned
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- Cooking spray
- 8 ounces uncooked linguine
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 3/4 cup)
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 8 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 10 minutes. Carve chicken off bones, and thinly slice.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well; keep warm.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour and garlic; cook until garlic is browned (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Add milk and broth, stirring with a whisk; bring to a simmer, and cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Add cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and spinach; stir until spinach wilts. Add pasta and chicken; toss to combine.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Grilled Chicken Florentine Pasta