I’m not really a cook, per se. But I do like to eat, which means that, on occasion, I have to actually make something. And the one thing I dread more than cooking is actually going to the grocery store. This means that there are times when I either have to be very creative in my kitchen concoctions or bite the bullet and head to the store. The recipe that I’m sharing with you here is the result of a “desperate to eat, don’t want to go out” kind of moment. I was home alone and had these items at my disposal; leftover grilled lemony chicken, grape tomatoes, onions, garlic, olive oil, and some garlic-spinach linguine. I decided it had possibility.
Actually, the ingredients I had on hand reminded me of the time I was at an Italian restaurant with a friend and she was eating a dish made with angel hair pasta. Personally, I’ve always been more of a fan of pasta sauces made with cream instead of olive oil, so as I watched my friend eat her dinner I asked, “Is that any good? ‘Cause it looks disgusting.” We’re very close so I can get away with that kind of boldness. She laughed and assured me it was delicious. Since that restaurant experience I’ve developed a lactose and soy intolerance which has seriously changed up my eating and, out of sheer necessity, expanded my taste buds.
Since my friend had assured me her pasta experience was good, I decided to see what I could create with the ingredients on hand. If it was really bad, I still had the option of going out for something different. I was home alone; I could do whatever I wanted.
So, here is the basic recipe I came up with for what I’ve now labeled Lemony Chicken Pasta:
You’ll be serving this over cooked noodles and it only takes about 15 – 20 minutes to cook the sauce, so I recommend putting the water on to boil the noodles when you start, especially if you have an annoyingly slow electric stove top such as I do.
In a large frying pan:
- Sauté one large onion in a generous amount of olive oil
- Add 1 package sliced mushrooms and continue to sauté until both are soft and the onions are translucent.
- Add 2 – 4 cloves fresh minced garlic. Garlic cooks quickly so you don’t want to add it too soon, lest it burn. I’ve also used garlic salt or garlic granules if I’m out of fresh garlic. I love garlic, so I use it liberally. You determine your own garlic comfort level.
- The olive oil is basically your “sauce” so you’ll want to add enough so that your dish isn’t dry. I also add in either Lemon Herb dressing (made by Salad Girl), lemon olive oil, or lemon juice at this point. (You don’t have to, but then it’s not Lemony Chicken Pasta; it’s just chicken pasta.)
- Add 1 – 1.5 cups diced cooked chicken (I usually cook extra when we are grilling or baking so I have it on hand when I want it.) and ½ – 1 cup grape tomatoes – halved. Continue to cook until chicken and tomatoes are warmed through.
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Serve over noodles.
This recipe can be switched up to suit your own (or perhaps your children’s) taste. If you don’t like mushrooms, leave them out (I did the first time). Want to add some broccoli – go ahead! You really can’t mess this up. Be creative and enjoy!
Nancy loves to laugh and considers laughter a critical part of human survival. If you were to ask, most days she would say her glass is half full but when it starts reaching the half-empty level, she reaches for a funny book or movie knowing that indeed “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Nancy has three married sons and five grandchildren. To read more from Nancy find her at www.nancyholte.com.