Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Spinach

Wow, my 250th post already! To celebrate, here is a recipe for an awesome dish of comfort food: Fettuccine, chicken and fresh spinach covered with a glossy, creamy, and (very) garlicky alfredo sauce.

Fettuccine Alfredo is by far the favourite pasta dish of our kids and as it is quick and dead easy I find myself making it quite often. Mostly with broccoli to include at least a healthy element to the dish.

Based on the fresh recollections of the taste of various pasta alfredo’s that were devoured during our summer holidays in New England and a great recipe by Amy Johnson of She Wears Many Hats, this version with spinach was declared by the kids – in unison – as “best alfredo evah”!

The few changes to Amy’s recipe are that I used pan fried chicken breasts instead of bacon and I upped the amount of garlic and spinach (which I sautéed first with a chopped onion by the way). As per usual I made a batch of fresh fettuccine with my Philips Avance pasta maker instead of using dried pasta.

The recipe (serves 4 to 6, but likely 4 ;-))
  • Fettuccine (about 400g / 14oz. fresh or 450g / 1 pound uncooked)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 400g / 14oz baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250ml / 1 cup cream
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 150g / 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. If using dried pasta, prepare pasta al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 60ml / ¼ cup of pasta water before draining and return to the pan.
  2. Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan fry the onion over medium heat until softened, about 6 minutes. Then add the spinach (in 2 batches) until fully wilted and transfer the spinach to a colander to drain.
  3. Wipe down the sauté pan and melt 1 tbsp butter over medium high heat to fry the chicken breasts until just cooked through. Transfer to a chopping board.
  4. Then turn down the heat to medium and add the remaining butter. When melted, add the minced garlic directly into butter and let them combine for about 2 minutes.
  5. Dice the chicken (when sufficiently cooled down to handle).
  6. If using fresh pasta, this is about the time to cook it at dente (usually about 3-4 minutes). Also in this case reserve 60ml / ¼ cup of pasta water before draining and return to the pan.
  7. In the meantime add the cream, salt and pepper to the garlicky butter and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the reserved pasta water and continue to simmer for an additional 2 minutes before adding the grated parmesan cheese. Continue to stir frequently for about 2 minutes as you will see the sauce thicken a bit.
  9. Add in the sautéed spinach, diced chicken and drained pasta and stir until coated and warmed through (and until the alfredo sauce reaches the desired consistency; we like it rather thick and almost gloopy).

Enjoy!

One thought on “Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken and Spinach

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