Chicken and pasta – the essential duo for dinner

When the weekend rolls around and I desperately want to order takeout (but know I should just eat at home), I’m always grateful to have chicken and pasta in my kitchen. Whether it’s a few leftover thighs from the grocery store or the pre-cooked chicken from a few nights ago, I know I’m ready. And I don’t even need to talk about the virtues of having a can of dry pasta in the pantry when you want the easiest dinner in the world.

It’s these kitchen staples that the recipe developer and LA native Ali Slagle can so well turn into wonderful dishes that look like the ones you actually planned instead of relying on what you have in your pantry. That’s because she takes those pantries and shows you how to make them better than you think. I wrote about his new book, “I dream of dinner (Don’t You Don’t Have To),” and two fantastic recipes – Skillet Chicken Thighs with Pickled Peas and Chilies and Tahini and Herb Pasta Salad – which are great examples of this way of cooking. .

Once you’ve made her recipes and figured out how they work, try these other easy chicken or pasta dishes from our archives that touch on the same themes.

Take the rest of these chicken thighs from the packet and make my Sticky Orange Chicken Thighs with Cucumber Chili Salad. The thighs are coated in a vinegar, soy and honey vinaigrette that coats them beautifully, while the cucumbers and citrus lend a bright, crunchy edge to balance out the intensely umami chicken.

And for other pasta recipes that hold up to several days of eating (and can be served cold, if needed), try Genevieve Ko’s Skillet Pasta with Tomato Sauce, which cooks lightly grilled pasta in a diluted tomato sauce. until the pasta is al dente at the same time the sauce is thickened beautifully.

And in my Kale Pasta Salad with Parmesan and Smoked Almonds, the cooked orzo is dressed in a tangy lemon dressing that seeps deeper and deeper into the pasta, not making it soggy, because it stays cool. fridge. It’s the type of easy meal that, once prepared, just keeps rewarding you with more and more delicious ways to keep it going for days.

Pan-fried chicken thighs with pickled peas and peppers

The chicken skin rendition offers both crispy chicken and fat for sautéing peas in a tangy vinaigrette. The herbs boost the freshness of the peas, while the crumbly cheese adds weight to this light springtime chicken dish.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 40 minutes.

Tahini and Herb Pasta Salad

Tahini does what dairy can’t, like sit in the sun. It creates a creamy base for a sauce to coat pasta, herbs and chickpeas in a hearty vegan dish. Fresh herbs brighten up the dish; you can use any combination of your favorite mild herbs, such as parsley, dill or mint.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Overhead view of four bowls of pasta

Sticky Orange Chicken Thighs with Chili-Cucumber Salad

This simple method of simmering browned chicken thighs in honey soy sauce makes them taste like they’ve been marinating all day. You can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead, if you like, but you’ll need to cut them into 1-inch-thick slices and cook them less.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Overhead shot of a plate with chicken and cucumber and orange slices.

(Silvia Razgova / For the times)

Kale Pasta Salad With Parmesan And Smoked Almonds

Measure your dressing ingredients and chop your veggies while you wait for the water to boil so you can make this salad real quick. It’s a great repository for any other leftover meat or vegetables you have in the fridge.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.

Closeup of a bowl with mixed kale, zucchini, baby tomatoes and other ingredients in a dressing.

(Ben Mims/Los Angeles Times)

One-pot pasta with tomato sauce

When angel hair cooks in tomato sauce, it soaks up the tangy taste of the sauce and reduces dishwashing. The broken noodles are first roasted in oil to give them a deep richness and prevent them from sticking together or becoming mushy.
Get the recipe.
Cooking time: 30 minutes.

Overhead view of a skillet filled with pasta in a red sauce.

(Genevieve Ko/Los Angeles Times)