Balsamic Honey Chicken Pasta with Spinach

This is one of the easiest things to make and one of the tastiest meals I've had. When you add the fact that this is on the healthier-ish side of pasta (has a little bit of butter... big deal!), it becomes a big winner in my book.

A few things I need mention:
1. Don't substitute sugar for the honey. The ever subtle taste of honey is key to this being sooo good.
2. You don't have to use 4T of butter, just use enough to coat the pasta well.
3. Try to get whole grain pasta if you can - you'll feel better about it after you lick the bowl clean (because you will).

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2-3 c. spinach leaves, stems removed
3/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 t. honey
1/2 t. pepper
1 pound multigrain penne pasta (I used multigrain rotini because it's what we had)
4 T butter (or less)
1/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
olive oil (for cooking chicken)
salt & pepper (to taste)

1. Put vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the vinegar is reduced, about 5-10 min. Stir in honey and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.
2. Cook penne in a large pot of salted water until just done (following package directions).
3. While waiting for water to boil/pasta to cook, heat up a little bit of olive oil in a frying pan and cook chicken until no longer pink and slightly browned, seasoning with a little bit of salt and pepper. Poor vinegar mixture over the chicken and add spinach, simmer for a minute over medium heat, stirring everything around until spinach wilts.
4. When pasta is finished, drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir the butter in the pasta. Add the balsamic chicken mixture and toss to combine well. Add the parmesan and 1/2 t. salt. Serve immediately, with extra parmesan and salt&pepper if you think it needs it.

Recipe adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

... and have a Happy Easter!

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