Meat lovers! If using protein, cook prior to making garlic bread. Use a medium-non-stick pan over medium-high heat with 2 tsp. olive oil.
If using chicken breasts, pat dry and, on a separate cutting board, cut into 1" dice. Season all over with 1/4 tsp. salt. Add to hot pan and stir occasionally until chicken browns and reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees, 5-7 minutes. Stir into pasta in Step 5.
If using Italian sausage, on a separate cutting board, remove sausage from casing. Add to hot pan and break into smaller pieces with a spoon until no pink remains, 4-6 minutes. Stir into pasta in Step 5.
If using salmon, pat dry and season flesh-side with a pinch of salt. Add to hot pan, skin-side up, and sear until golden brown and salmon reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, 4-6 minutes per side. Serve on the side.