Pasta with Chicken, Tomatoes and Spinach

pastachickentomatoes2

Using fresh ingredients, especially in the heart of the summer, does not only make your dish full of flavor but it is great on the budget too. When you use produce (such as tomatoes) when they are in season, the price is significantly less than other times of the year. This dish is fresh and light and a great summertime meal to quickly whip together. It has chicken (some sort of protein is a must in our dinners) and vegetables and starches all in one dish. If you are trying to cut carbs, the chicken and sauce can even be made alone. I’ve made it with pasta and left the chicken breasts whole instead of chopping into bite size pieces (as seen in the pictures). Whatever way you choose, I know you will find this dinner fresh and fantastic!

pastachickentomatoes1

Time: 25-30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:
8 ounces pasta (I used penne, but any pasta will work)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup flour
3 boneless chicken breasts, cut lengthwise to make create 6 total
6 plum tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
zest of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add in salt and then the pasta. By adding salt to the cooking liquid, you are giving more flavor to the pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on box.
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet (I like to use my frying pan), heat the oil and butter over medium high heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Shake off any excess flour and place in the hot pan. Cook chicken until no longer pink in the center, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan, place on a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. In the same pan the chicken was cooked in, over medium high heat, add the tomatoes, oregano, wine, chicken broth, and lemon zest. Cook about 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and let it wilt down into the sauce another 2-3 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes and spinach are cooking, chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Feel free to skip this step if not preparing with pasta.
5. Season the tomato mixture with salt and pepper. Add in the chopped chicken, the pasta and the fresh parsley. Stir until combined and sauce is coating pasta and chicken. Sauce will be thin.

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