Pantry Pasta

Like many Americans during the pandemic, I’ve gone many days in a row without leaving my house, resulting in far fewer trips to the grocery store. Pre-pandemic I’d make a trip once or twice a week, and rarely planned more than a couple meals in advance. And while the pandemic has changed my grocery shopping habits, it hasn’t changed my planning habits (or lack thereof), and I’ve ended up with both a pantry and fridge devoid of ingredients. The quarantine has, however, forced me to get more creative and resourceful as a cook, which has been equal parts fun and flavorful.

Since making chicken piccata, I’ve had capers in my pantry and no reason to use them. But in the spirit of creativity and resourcefulness, tonight I decided to find a way. This spirit manifested itself into a pasta dish, of course. A salty, garlic-y, lemony pasta dish that satisfied my savory craving. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: 1/3 box whole wheat angel hair pasta; 2 strips bacon, chopped; 1 chicken breast, diced; salt; pepper; 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic; 1/2 onion, sliced; 1 tablespoon capers; 1 tablespoon unsalted butter; 1 lemon; 1 teaspoon basil

Start by boiling pasta in salt water. Cook bacon over medium heat until it’s reached desired crispiness. Remove bacon from pan to a plate lined with a paper towel to blot the grease. Add chicken to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and onions. Rinse capers and add to the pan. Add butter and cook down. Add cooked pasta to the pan. Add bacon back to the pan. Squeeze lemon juice and add basil. Serve warm and enjoy!

Lemon Chicken Pasta for One

In case I haven’t publicly professed my adoration for pasta enough, let me do so once more: I love pasta. Therefore, in my quest to amass an arsenal of recipes for one, I need a trove of pasta recipes. One with a lemon butter sauce and wilted spinach is of utmost importance to perfect.

To start, boil linguine in salt water. Use about 1/8-1/6 of the box. Cut up half a chicken breast into small cubes, salt and pepper, and cook in an oiled pan over medium heat. Melt 1/4 stick of butter in the pan and add 1/8 tsp of minced garlic and 1/8 tsp of parsley. While butter is melting, add 1/2 cup of spinach and the juice of 1 lemon. Add noodles once al dente. Toss to smother noodles in lemony, buttery deliciousness.

Making this dish couldn’t be simpler, and when portions are smaller, ingredients cook faster making time in the kitchen minimal. And, although it’s pasta, it’s pretty light, making it a great weeknight summer meal. Enjoy!