Birds Nest Pasta

Birds Nest Pasta

Life is getting complicated.

There’s a baby on the way. Its the third one. Things are getting cramped in our car, our house, and my uterus.

Uterus talk on a food blog – that’s what you really come here for.

While I can’t get my hands on a new uterus (who would want to?!) I will need to acquire a larger vehicle and a home with perhaps one more bedroom in the coming months. My husband is dead set against ever owning a mini van, which complicates things. Truth be told I don’t really want one either but I have a more relaxed attitude about it. My husband works from home and takes up the entire basement running his business so our current two children share the one other bedroom upstairs besides ours. We would have enough space in our current house if he found a new office, but that also complicates things. Really it just sounds like my husband complicates things. Get rid of him? No, that would really complicate things. Oh, and I would miss him.

We can’t stop life from handing us complications. We can only make uncomplicated decisions about what to have for dinner.

This pasta couldn’t be less complicated. Perfectly cooked pasta makes a nest for quick cooking chicken and broccoli. You have a well-balanced meal in practically the amount of time it takes to cook the pasta.

I love to serve this with extra Parmesan cheese on top and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. It’s not complicated.

Birds Nest Pasta

Birds Nest Pasta
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads broccoli, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt generously and cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the starchy cooking water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the hot pan. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through 7-10 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, place about one inch of water in a medium size pot with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Let cook until broccoli reaches desired tenderness, 2-5 minutes. Remove from the pot and add to the pan with the chicken, tossing to combine.
  4. Return the empty pasta pot to the stove top and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Parmesan cheese and pasta and toss to coat, adding some of the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen it up.
  5. Serve the pasta by twirling it into a nest and placing the chicken and broccoli in the middle. Top with additional Parmesan and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.
Adapted from Rachael Ray


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