Friday, 31 May 2013

Lemon, Black Pepper and Chicken Spaghetti

I always think that pasta is is one of the most versatile meals one can make.  This is another example of a pasta dish that can you can whip up in minutes... whether you're cooking for one or an army of friends.  I actually cooked this pasta dish for over sixty people yesterday among a few other things... and it was a huge hit! 

I love the sharpness from the lemon combined with the warmth from the black pepper.  The lemon element comes not only from the juice, but also from the zest which contains all the lemony goodness, both fragrant and taste... And for this particular dish, it's best to use coarsely ground rather than finely ground black pepper.  It adds to the texture and it's quite nice to bite into tiny chunks of peppercorns with every mouthfuls.  

If I were to cook this spaghetti for myself, I would have used chicken thighs because I think dark meat has more flavour, but yesterday I used all breast meat to be on the safe side.  And if you've got some around, a handful of chopped parsley is not a bad thing to add at the end.  Though there must be some sort of parsley shortage here, because I have been looking for them the past couple of days and they are nowhere to be found!


Cook the spaghetti in a big pot of salted boiling water until just al dente.  Whilst waiting for the pasta to cook, in a big skillet, over a medium heat, saut√© some chopped onions in olive oil until soft and translucent.  Then add finely minced garlic and stir for few seconds.  Add the diced chicken and cook until browned.  Season with salt.  Next going in the pan is some quartered mushrooms.  They won't take long to cook.  I then add lots of coarsely ground black pepper and the zest of a lemon, giving them a good stir.  Then add the chopped bell peppers.  I add them almost at the end because I don't want to lose their crunch. 

When the pasta is cooked, drain it but reserve some of the pasta cooking water.  Toss the spaghetti in the what now look like a chicken stir-fry... Add the juice of 1 lemon and some of the pasta cooking water to make everything sleek.  Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning.  I tend to add more lemon juice, because I love lemony things, but that's just personal preference...

29 comments:

  1. Parsley shortage? Really? How? I meant it's spring and parsley is supposed to be one of the easiest herbs to grow.
    The pasta looks very fresh and delicious!

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    1. I know! It's ridiculous! But panic is over now. The pasta is very fresh and delicious indeed :)

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  2. Agreed. So versatile. So delicious. Lovely simple recipe that packs a punch x

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    1. Thanks Dom. I think you'll definitely enjoy this pasta dish.

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  3. simple ingredients but looks tasty and flavorful,I love the lemon zest in this simple meal :)

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    1. The lemon zest makes all the difference I think... :)

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  4. Definitely my kind of dish. I'm getting very hungry. Parsley shortage? I'm off to panic buy the stuff just in case.

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    1. Thank you Phil. I went back to the market today and so pleased that parsley is back on sale... *phew...

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  5. I'm with you on the thigh meat. Nothing like a couple of good thighs (heh, heh). Sixty people, holy cow, are you becoming a caterer?

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    1. I see what you did there! No, it's just a one time thing (for now)... It's actually really fun and I'd do it again if asked.

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  6. I think we have the same taste buds. Thighs for me too, and lots of lemon. Looks divine , love pasta any day but particularly enjoying the fresh summery flavours in this! Now if the weather would jus tmatch up...

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    1. Great minds thinks (and taste) alike?! :)

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  7. You know I don't think I've ever tried this combination but if I saw it on a menu I'd go straight for it! :D And over sixty people? You are a legend! :D

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    1. Thank you Lorraine!! I'm sure you'll enjoy this pasta dish.

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  8. Who doesn't like pasta, we all do love it. This recipe is simple but with a twist of lemon is just amazing.

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    1. Thank you for the comment. Lemon is one of my favourite ingredients and I use it in so many dishes (and drinks)...

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  9. LOVE me some pasta with lemon. It makes it so light and vibrant!

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    1. Thanks Jenn! Please give it a try. You'll love it.

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  10. Hi Michael...you cooked pasta for 60 people?...hope it was at your workplace and not in your private home...otherwise you'd be up to your 'eyeballs' with with a ton of cooked pasta!

    Love the simple deliciousness of this yummy pasta, with a simple green salad and some nice chilled white wine...yumm!
    Hugs to you, from Italy!





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    1. Ciao Elisabeth! Great to hear from you. Guess what? I did cook this at my private home... Insane, I know but still a lot of fun. I should mention that I wasn't by myself. My sisters did help out, bless them.
      Have fun in Italy!

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  11. Can you believe that I have never added lemon in pasta? I will have to try lemon on my pasta next time cooking pasta.
    Yours look beautiful and very colorful...
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Michael :D

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    1. Hi Juliana. You should try it. It's utterly delicious. One of my favourite pasta dishes is lemon spaghetti. It's basically spaghetti, dressed in olive oil, lemon juice, a bit of the pasta cooking water and lots of parmesan. Yum. :)
      Have a wonderful week to you too.

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