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Spicy Chicken Pasta

This one-pot dinner is all about efficiency: The chicken cooks with the pasta, then garlic, lemon juice, and red-pepper flakes add zest to a one-minute sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 1

Source: Everyday Food, June 2008


  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup penne rigate (ridged) or other short pasta
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast half, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 3 cups baby spinach (3 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne until al dente, adding chicken during last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and chicken; return to pot.

  2. To pot, add tomato, tomato paste, garlic, oil, red-pepper flakes, and spinach; season with salt. Cook over medium, tossing, until spinach is barely wilted, about 1 minute. Remove pot from heat; stir in lemon juice and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Season with salt, if necessary, and serve immediately.


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