How did my hopes of an “easy” meal turn out to be so gourmet? I often ask myself why do I do this when my kids don’t even appreciate it fully or like all the ingredients! My youngest doesn’t like eating noodles and my other two little kids LOVE noodles but nothing green. So sadly, this meal was not for them. But as for my husband and me we really enjoy making this meal.
Years ago when we were first dating we went out to eat at a little Italian restaurant that since has gone out of business. We both fell in love with a dish that had a hint of lemon with chicken, spinach, mushrooms and pine nuts. We were hooked. So as things go we have recreated this little dish. This has become a staple dish that we make for our friends and family often. So when I looked in the fridge and had these ingredients I said, “Tonight is the night for Lemon Chicken Farfalle” it’s impossible to make such a gourmet meal with out our favorite french bread too! It was delicious. Since my little family will only eat half of a french bread I always have an extra to make our favorite Pesto Chicken Sandwiches for tomorrows dinner. Yum.
- 3-4 chicken breasts, sliced
- 1 pkg. button mushrooms, sliced in quarters
- 1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta noodles
- 3 T. butter
- 2 t. flour
- 1 quart half and half or heavy whipping cream
- 1 c. Parmesan cheese
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 T. Lemon Pepper Seasoning
- 1-2 T. lemon juice (add at very end when cream sauce is thick)
- 1 10 oz. package spinach
- 1/4 c. toasted pine nuts (simply toast on low heat in sauce pan. Stir constantly and remove from heat once they begin to brown.)
- Cut away any excess fat from the chicken breasts. Brown the chicken in a sauce pan with the lemon juice and lemon pepper. Season with extra salt and pepper for extra seasoning. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces, about 1 inch cubes. Set the chicken aside. Begin boiling farfalle (or bowtie) noodles in a seperate large pot of water. Put the sliced button mushrooms in the pasta boiling water for 1 minute. Remove mushrooms and set aside once they are tender. In a saute pan, melt the butter until melted completely and then add flour. Whisk the flour and butter together to create a roux, until smooth. Add the half and half or cream to the pan and continue to whisk together. Continue to stir together on low heat. Once the cream is heated thoroughly, add the chicken bouillon. Then add the parmesan cheese. If the sauce needs to be thicker, add more Parmesan cheese. Tear the spinach pieces. When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the torn spinach leaves. Then add the cooked mushrooms and chicken to simmer until the noodles are done. Drain the noodles and pour the sauce over the pasta. Squeeze the lemon juice onto the pasta right before serving. Optional: Add ¼ c. toasted pine nuts to individual portions and top with more Parmesan cheese. Top with toasted pine nuts (optional).