{ lemon + greens + chicken spring pasta }

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{ lemon + greens + chicken spring pasta } DisplacedHousewife

lemon + greens + chicken spring pasta
 { shut up & eat }

I was so excited for St. Patrick’s Day that I published my { corned beef + hash } at the start of the month…weeks early. It was a premature post. What can I say? I was a little excited. Now I’m suffering from blog-posting-dysfunction. I just couldn’t get anything up last week. It was frustrating, to say the least.

The entire month of March I have been sick. The. Entire. Month. The laundry piled up, the dust bunnies had taken up residence in every corner of the house and there was a never-ending supply of dishes in the sink. Ugh.

I was starting to feel like the emoji face with just the eyes. You know the one? That had their personality neutered? Yes, that one. I couldn’t take another minute of snot and coughing and exhaustion. I finally threw in the towel and went to the doctor. I really thought my immune system could #win this one. Nope. I left with a round of antibiotics and enough codeine cough syrup to sedate a horse. And then I slept.

I started to see the slightest glimmer of health and fortitude and then the troops started to succumb. First was the call to pick up Gavin (his eyes hurt…never a good sign)…then a congested nose and cough from Stella. It’s one thing when just one of us is sick. But when all three of us are sick, it’s hell. Sheer. Living. Hell. And exhausting. And thus I had no time (or energy) for posting exciting, titillating recipes. That’s such a raunchy word. Titillating. Just wanted to throw that in there for a quick giggle. Use it at the grocery store check-out to see if you can make things awkward. As in: “This broccolini is titillating. I can’t wait to get home with it.” Channel Samantha Jones. And then hand over your Amex.

At the start of March I was obsessed with stews and big hunks of meat (both the kind on two legs and the one on my plate). I’ve come out the other side of March wanting much lighter fare. I was literally on the cusp of posting my beef + barley stew and then I realized we’re over that already, aren’t we? That was so four week’s ago. It’s time for spring food. Are you feeling me?

Both Stella & Gavin give this a thumb’s up, 10 out of 10. Let me know what your peeps think. Peace.

Before we get started…

  • Make Ahead: You could cut up your veggies the night before or in the morning before work. Likewise you could shred up your chicken ahead of time. This is going to come together so fast that you’re not going to be that concerned with make-ahead options. You can (should?) get a rotisserie chicken to speed up dinner. If you want to DIY it (RESPECT), rub your bone-in breasts with olive oil and then salt and pepper with a friendly hand. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes…make extra. It’s delicious. You could definitely do this bit ahead of time.
  • Serve With: Garlic bread. Duh. And a simple salad.
  • Variations: Think of pasta as your vehicle to take you anywhere you want in the world. Sky’s the limit. The variations are endless. Let’s start with the veggies. If you or your kids don’t like broccolini/broccoli, then you could add green beans (thin, small, fresh ones). Or you could just add more spinach. Or what about fresh peas? THAT would be delish. I like to add a handful of chopped arugula to mine…I love that pepper bite…but my kids don’t. You could also do a mixture of greens. If you like a little heat in your pasta, you could throw in some red pepper flakes to keep things lively. Get creative people. Oh, and if you’re trying to cut back on carbs, use zucchini noodles. You have to promise not to call them zoodles…but vasta would be mighty fine indeed. Kinda sexy too. I’ll have the large plate of vasta with the vasta on the side. Thanks.
  • Make it Sophisticated: Wine. Delicious white wine. Maybe some Liquid Farm Chardonnay? Or Alta Maria Sauvignon Blanc? That’s where we’d start if we were doing this together.
  • Before You Start: As soon as you get home, put a pot of water on the stove for the pasta. Likewise, crack open that bottle of wine. I’m thirsty. Could you get me a glass too? Change into your soft clothes and then chop up your veggies, herbs, garlic and shallots. Dinner is going to be ready in less than 20. I’m excited.

{ lemony greens + chicken spring pasta } DisplacedHousewife

{ lemon + greens + chicken spring pasta }

Makes 4 Servings


  • 1 pound pasta (I used Gemelli)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoon good quality olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 cup broccolini or broccoli, chopped into small, elegant little trees (if the trunks are thick, cut in half to speed up your cook time)
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach (or arugula or kale or all three…whatever green makes you happy), julienned
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1 to 2 lemons, juice + zest (this depends on your lust for lemons…I like to use two lemons and I’m in lemon heaven. If you have lemon limits, start with 1 lemon and see how you’re feeling. I won’t judge.)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving


  1. Put a pot of water on the stovetop over high heat…make sure there’s enough room in there for your 1 pound of pasta. Throw a couple of pinches of salt in there. Open that bottle of wine. Take a sip. Relax. Turn on some music. Please tell me that you’re out of your work clothes?
  2. Put a large skillet over the lowest heat possible. Make sure the skillet will be large enough to hold your pasta because it’s going in there once it’s done boiling. Put your 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet, zest in your lemon zest and let it mingle. Get to know each other. They’re good together, aren’t they? Do we need to talk about zesting citrus real quick? Make sure you don’t get any of the white part when zesting…just the yellow rind. It’s my new favorite verb. Zesting.
  3. Chop up your shallots, garlic, veggies and herbs and shred your chicken.
  4. Is the water boiling? Throw the pasta in there and cook according to the directions on the package.
  5. Meanwhile turn the heat on the skillet up to a nice medium…not too high, not to lowwww. You want to soften the shallot and veggies, yet you don’t want to burn your garlic.
  6. Add the shallots and pine nuts and push around the pan a bit. Maybe 1 minute.
  7. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add your spinach/arugula and broccolini/broccoli and cook for 1 minute. If your broccoli has thick trunks, cook a wee longer…maybe another minute (it will have crisp to it, which I like).
  9. Turn off the heat and add the shredded chicken. Push it around the pan so it gets to know its’ peers.
  10. Drain your pasta, reserving about 2 cup of the pasta water. You’re going to use this later if your pasta needs a bit more moisture to it.
  11. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss around a bit. Add your 1 teaspoon of salt, herbs, plus the ¼ cup olive oil and the juice from your lemon(s).
  12. Sprinkle the 1 cup of parmesan in there and mix well.
  13. Toss and taste. This is the best part of cooking. Are you feeling enough of the lemon and olive oil? If not, add a touch more of both and taste. Add some of the reserved pasta liquid if you’d like a little more moisture in there. Add in ¼ cup increments. If you have any leftovers, you can add a bit more of the pasta water to keep things fluid in there before shoving it into the fridge.
  14. Grate some more Parm over each bowl before serving.
  15. You’re done. Day’s over. You did good.

broccoli @ DisplacedHousewife's Big Pimpin' Garden o' Fun

{ on my mind }
  • When you’re sick and taking narcotic cough syrup you have lots of thoughts about everything. And then you remember nothing. Below are the things I emailed to myself so I wouldn’t forget. Just for you.
  • My kids love to watch TED talks. We watched this one last week. This guy’s pretty funny. I love dry. He’s a professor and he’s funny. My ears are pricked.
  • This scares me for all of those people that are just about to throw their graduation caps in the air and shed their gowns. Please tell me there is another side to this story and it’s not all fire and brimstone?
  • Hey, I remember this chick. This photographer has taken some amazing photos. I want him to come to my ten-famous-people dinner party. It’s ten, right? I might invite the Ted guy too…just to keep things lively.
  • If you follow my Instagram you know that I’m on a major scone bender. I have an AMAZEBALLS breakfast casserole and a scone recipe that I’m going to get up before Easter. All for you. All make ahead. So you can lounge in your PJs, hunt for Easter eggs, drink champagne and eat chocolate all morning.
  • I need to get on my spring/summer garden. That sweet little broccoli photo above is my bolting broccoli plant. Love how delicate home-grown broccoli is. You’ll be hearing more about my garden in the next couple of weeks. I know, you’re on the edge of your seat.
  • I’m glad I’m back in the game. I missed you. Happy humping today!! xx

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  • Jessica | A Happy Food Dance March 30, 2015 at 2:59 PM

    I’m loving this pasta although I think I caught your cold and I am now wishing you posted that beef and barley stew. Can’t imagine a house full of sick ones, if my dog catches this I’m leaving :)

    • DisplacedHousewife March 30, 2015 at 5:40 PM

      Oh that’s the worst…I feel your pain. I hope you get better quickly + your dog stays healthy!!! xx

  • Beau Ciolino March 27, 2015 at 3:45 AM

    Hahahahah oh god you’ve had me laughing with this post. Ok, a few things: titillating is an amazing word and it should be used as much as possible. Yes to eating hunks of meat, both ways. Was that too dirty for a food blog? I’m sorry, you can now delete this comment but you totally went there first :P. NO NO NO to you and your clan being sick, that’s so frustrating but it’ll go away once spring weather is here to stay. I’m sorry your immune system couldn’t #win this one :(

    Also, of course, this pasta looks amazing. I’m always down for pasta. It’s just one of those foods that will never not be comforting. It was my true love as a chubby Italian kid and it’s still got a special place in my heart. MMMMMpasta

    • DisplacedHousewife March 27, 2015 at 6:06 PM

      Yay Beau!! I’m so glad I gave you a bit of a laugh. We have to commit to using ‘titillating’ at least once day. And trust me, you can never be too raunchy. I’m constantly holding myself back so as not to offend. It’s work…a lot of work…

      I can’t picture the chubby part of the Italian kid…not one bit. Smooches!!

  • Lynn | The Road to Honey March 25, 2015 at 9:39 AM

    I was perusing my blog feed over a cup of Morrocan Mint tea when I came across the photo for this glorious dish. The minute I laid eyes on it , I knew I had to stop by. It looks so light and tasty…the perfect dinner to help usher in the spring weather (soon, I hope). Glad to hear you are slowly on the mend. You sound like me last year. I had just moved back from Africa…and my immune system wasn’t having it. 3 months of respiratory related problems! There is a light on the horizon.

    • DisplacedHousewife March 27, 2015 at 6:02 PM

      Hi Lynn,
      Thank you for the nice comment and for stopping by!! Africa…now that sounds exciting!! I’m going to have to comb your blog for more info. xx


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