Food with Friends: Two of my Favorite Things

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20 May Food with Friends: Two of my Favorite Things

Last weekend, I got a chance to spend some time with the amazing moms in my family. This past weekend, I spent time with the amazing moms in my close circle of friends. You see, sometimes moms need advice, sometimes moms need support, sometimes, moms need a little extra encouragement. Most of all, moms need someone to talk to that speaks in full, intelligible English sentences. Toddlers, believe it or not, are not always the best at any of these things. Luckily, I have other mom friends that I can talk to and they can actually relate to many of my first time mom nightmares experiences. These girls have been invaluable at times and I don’t know what I’d do without them. They’ve called me out when they’ve needed to and have even been a shoulder to cry on.

So, for this month’s get-together, I wanted  to make them something special. I went with one of my new favorites: Lemon Chicken in Ricotta and Parmesan Pasta with Spinach. This is an easy to cook (and not as easy to say) dish that doesn’t take much time or effort. It’s got just 7 ingredients and goes from grocery bag to table in about 30-40 minutes. I went to Walmart® for all the ingredients because I love the convenience of always finding everything I need in one place. For the pasta, I went with Barilla®  because it’s my go-to brand. Feel free to make this dish with your favorite style of pasta. I went with spaghetti because I think it suits this dish best. But Barilla® has so many different types to choose from that you can’t really go wrong. You can also substitute the sun-dried tomatoes with peppers for an extra bit of crunch in your bite.

Take a look at my easy recipe below!

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Lemon Chicken in Ricotta and Parmesan Pasta

Yields about 5 – 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb chicken breasts (can use pre-cooked)
  • 1 lb Barilla® brand spaghetti (or your preferred type of Barilla® pasta)
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach (can used frozen chopped if you want)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan, plus more for serving

Directions

1. Cook pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package.

2. Meanwhile, season chicken breast with salt and pepper; lightly coat a pan with olive oil and sear chicken until evenly browned. Cut into strips.

3. Drain all but about 1 cup of water and set pot over medium-low heat (reserve another cup for later use)

4. Add olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, Ricotta and Parmesan to pasta and toss to evenly coat.

5. Add in more pasta water as desired to thin and season with salt and pepper to taste, cook until Ricotta is heated through.

6. Toss in spinach* and cooked chicken. Serve warm, topped with more Parmesan if desired and garnish with lemon slices.

    *Wilt spinach in separate pot with some water or in microwave by heating for about 2 minutes.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.

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