When the weather is cold and rainy, I really crave pasta and soup! This is a recipe I “invented” for easy chicken pasta, but it’s really based on spaghetti d’olio. “Olio” means “oil” in Italian, which is the base for your pasta sauce. Traditionally, it’s made with spaghetti (long, thin noodles), but I only had fusilli pasta (short, twirly pasta). Did you know different pasta and spaghetti shapes have a special purpose? The long, thin kinds are versatile for all kinds of sauce (dairy-based, olive oil, or tomato sauce). Twisted kinds (like the fusilli I used) are good for pesto. If you think of making mac-n-cheese, you always use pasta that looks like tubes or shells, and that’s because those hold the heavy cheese or dairy-based sauces best! In any case, there is a world of possibilities for pasta-sauce combinations!
- 2 cups pasta (1/4 box of spaghetti, or a single serving according to the package)
- 2 chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Red pepper flakes
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder (or 2 cloves of fresh garlic)
- 2 slices of deli ham OR bacon
- Lemon slice
- Boil your pasta. While waiting for the pasta to boil, fry the bacon or ham in a pan, then dice it up.
- Slice your chicken into strips and season it with salt and pepper. Fry the chicken in the same pan as you fried the ham or bacon.
- Once your pasta has boiled, strain it and return it to the pot. Drizzle the olive oil over the pasta, then mix it with red pepper flakes, garlic powder, diced ham or bacon, pepper, and a healthy squirt of lemon juice.
- Top your bowl of pasta off with your chicken and more lemon!
- I also steamed broccoli and mixed that in! I know broccoli is a controversial topic, but eating your veggies is always a good idea.