Chicken and Spinach Farfalle


This is one of my favorites.  It’s flavorful and tastes gourmet.  It’s from the book “The Best Simple Recipes” by America’s Test Kitchen!  They cut back on the cream and brightened the flavors of the rich sauce with lemon.  A+!


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3/4 lb.), cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick pieces.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I used garlic powder here)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (no substitutions)
  • 2 tsp. grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 lb. farfalle pasta (Bowtie)
  • 1 6oz bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (use the one that comes in a brick, if you can)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted


  1. Bring 4 qts. of water to a boil in a large pot.  Meanwhile, pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Melt 1 T. butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook half of chicken until no longer pink, about 3 minutes, transfer to plate.  Repeat with remaining butter and chicken. 
  3. Add garlic to empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in cream, lemon zest and juice, simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover. 
  4. Meanwhile, add 1 T. salt and farfalle to boiling water and cook until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, drain pasta, return to pot.  Add sauce, spinach, Parmesan, pine nuts, and cooked chicken to pot and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve. 
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