I stumbled on this recipe years ago and as it seems we do when we’ve got a favorite recipe, we start to try a little of this and a little of that as the years go by we make it into a dish of our own.

Over the weekend I went a BBQ and was sent home with an insane amount of chicken. Because my freezer is pretty well full and I didn't want the meat to go to waste, I decided to use some of the chicken in this recipe even though I've never made it with chicken before. I was a bit concerned that because the chicken was cooked BBQ style that it wouldn't taste good, but it was delicious after I peeled off the skin, rinsed the meat and patted it dry. I’d imagine that sausage would taste pretty good mixed into this dish as well.

You’ll need:

  1. 1 pound of pasta- whatever shape you’d like. I used spaghetti because that’s what I had.
  2. 1 pound broccoli rabe with the thick bottom portion of the stems chopped off and the rest of the stems and leaves cut into one to two inch sections.
  3. 1/2 cup olive oil
  4. 5 garlic cloves, minced. I recommend using fresh garlic.
  5. 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or a little more if you like some heat
  6. A small onion, chopped. Or if you like onions, use a bigger one. The beauty of this recipe is that you can play with it.
  7. Pre-cooked and shredded chicken- amount depends on how much you want to add. I used about a cup, but definitely could have used more. The garlic seeped into the chicken, making it extra tasty.

To Make:

  1. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package, but with about five minutes remaining, add in the broccoli rabe. The pot might seem too small for everything, but the broccoli rabe will wilt down. Trust me on this.
  2. Drain the pasta and broccoli rabe and transfer to a large serving bowl. Using the same pot you cooked the pasta in (this will save you on washing a bunch of dishes), saute the onion in some olive oil until it starts to caramelize. Add the olive oil, garlic, pepper flakes and a good pinch of salt and stir often on medium heat until the garlic starts to turn a light golden color. At the last minute, add in your pre-cooked chicken and give it a good mix.
  3. Pour this mixture over the pasta and broccoli rabe and toss to coat. If you like cheese, Parmesan cheese makes an excellent topper.

This dish will serve 2 teenage boys or 6-8 adults. It'll last about a week in the fridge, but if you're saving it, make sure to store it in an airtight container.