Some of the best pasta dishes are the simplest. This recipe falls into that category; it's incredibly easy and incredibly good! Ok, I may have made it a bit more complicated by adding the grilled chicken, but even that is pretty simple to make. I mean how hard is marinating and grilling, right? Plus, you could always leave it out :) This is a great balance between the tart lemon flavor and everything else. I know that sounds silly, but I don't know how else to explain it. I have had lemon dishes where the lemon is so overwhelming, it's the only thing you can taste. In this dish, although the lemon is prominent, it doesn't mask everything else. The perfect balance.
Spaghetti al Limone with Grilled Lemon Chicken
Adapted from David Rocco
1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 pound thin spaghetti
1-2 roasted garlic cloves (I roasted mine on the grill)
juice from 2 lemons (about 1/3 cup)
zest of one lemon
3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
fresh chopped parsley
Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Place in resealable plastic bag. Mix together the 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon pepper seasoning until well combined. Pour over chicken, seal bag and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat grill to 375 degrees F. Clean and oil grill grates. Place chicken directly over the fire and grill for 6-10 minutes per side or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Allow to cool and thinly slice or roughly chop; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.
In a large bowl, add the roasted garlic and lemon juice and zest. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while stirring. Stir well until the mixture becomes emulsified. Mix in parmesan cheese. Add pasta and chicken to the bowl and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with chopped parsley. If pasta is too dry, add a little pasta water or olive oil. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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