When summer is in full swing, there’s no better way to combat the warm weather than with a fresh, light and easy pasta dish. One of my favorite summer dinners (and actually, year-round) is arugula pasta with baked chicken.
This recipe makes a hearty meal that’s ready in less than half an hour and comes together with just a few ingredients. If you’re looking for the perfect go-to weeknight dinner, but don’t want to compromise on flavor, this recipe fits the bill. It pairs well with chicken or shrimp, so it’s always a good idea to have both in your freezer during the week.
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2-3 tbsp Italian sofrito style spice (I used Trader Joe’s)
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 box (1 pound) Bowtie (Farfalle) Pasta
- 5 oz arugula
- ½ cup whole milk
- 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
- Juice of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Butterfly chicken breasts with the help of a sharp knife.
- Put the chicken in a sheet pan and sprinkle Italian Sofrito Style Spice on both sides. Now brush the breasts with extra virgin olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 375 °F and place the sheet pan in it. Cook for 10 minutes and boil the pasta according to the package instructions while the chicken is being cooked.
- Take a blender and add arugula, whole milk, Mascarpone Cheese, and lemon juice. Blend for 2-3 minutes or until you get a thick sauce.
- When the pasta gets cooked, strain it in the colander and add it to a mixing bowl. Pour in arugula sauce and mix well.
- Shave it with parmesan cheese all over and mix again.
- Your arugula pasta is ready. Put it on the serving plate and serve it with the baked chicken. Don’t forget to add olive oil and shaved parmesan to the pasta and chicken before serving.
Tips and Tricks
- If arugula is a little bit too peppery combine spinach and arugula. It will cut the peppery taste.
- You can also add heavy cream instead of whole milk if you want a thicker sauce.
- If you want to make arugula pasta for more people, simply increase the quantity of the ingredients. Other procedures will remain the same.
- Cut the baked chicken into thin slices before serving.
- If you don’t want to butterfly the chicken breast, you can buy chicken cutlets. They will save your time. You can even substitute with any other meat or even shrimp.
- Mascarpone Cheese just gives your pasta a nicer and creamier look but cream cheese can also be used in this recipe. Usually, kids don’t know the difference between them.
- Feel free to change it up by using any leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken that you have on hand instead of cooking your own chicken breasts.
Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates and offers amino acids, vitamins, minerals and high quality, easily digestible energy that your body needs.
And arugula is often referred to as the king of all salad greens and if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out on an excellent source of nutrition. Arugula has several nutrients that are beneficial to your health, including fiber, folate, vitamin K and vitamins A and C. If you add arugula to your daily diet, you can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of cancer, among other benefits. It also helps boost your immune system, fights diabetes and improves digestion. It is important to consume this dish in moderation so as not to add excess calories.
How to store leftover arugula pasta?
So you made more than you can eat, or you cooked too much. No worries! Leftover arugula pasta can be stored in an airtight container for up to five days in your refrigerator. Don’t let it sit out at room temperature for long periods of time.
How to reheat?
For a quick reheat of your pasta, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Add a tablespoon of milk-just enough to create steam. Don’t add water as that will dilute your sauce. Microwave on high for about 20 seconds or until warmed through. You can also reheat it in a nonstick pan.
Can I use gluten-free pasta?
Yes! You can! For some people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, replacing regular wheat-based pasta can help relieve symptoms caused by gluten. But it absorbs a lot of liquid. I recommend tossing pasta in olive oil before dressing; that way you’ll have extra time to season your dish properly before it soaks up all of your sauce.
Can I use another shape of pasta?
Yes! All shapes work, but it’s best to go with those that can hold all the dressings. Various pasta shapes can be used to create this pasta salad, such as Rotini, Bowtie (Farfalle), and Shells.
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