Thursday, 12 August 2010

Simple Food, Easy Recipe

Since I am a lousy cook, I have to constantly search for real simple recipes which I can follow.

I have not attended any cooking classes and I have no one to teach me even the basic skills of identifying the different types of vegetables, different cuts of meat and till now I am still very confused over the names and types of the fishes available at the market (^^') With the lack of skills, I could only manage very very very simple recipes. I have long given up on asian cookbooks because of the long ingredient lists and vague instructions. I prefer to follow cookbooks such as those under the Australian Women's Weekly series as they are simple enough for me and most importantly, majority of the recipes are one-dish meals :D

One classic example is this Chilli Prawn Linguine which I saw on the Australian Women's Weekly website a couple of weeks ago. I bookmarked the recipe right away and attempted to replicate this dish just last night. I didn't have the exact ingredients, eg flat leaf parsley and baby rocket leaves, so I replaced them with dried parsley flakes and some lettuce. I hope the taste would not be too far off from the original version.

It is indeed an easy recipe...our dinner was ready in 30mins! What a wonderful only need to put in minimum effort to achieve excellent results. The pasta tasted delicious despite the minimum ingredients used. From the photo, the surface of the pasta may appear plain and dry (I reduced the amount of oil used), but trust me, it is full of flavour and there was just enough sauce to coat the linguine. I was surprised that the garlic, chilli and fresh, juicy prawns could add so much flavour to a dish. I would prefer to use chilli padi instead of long chilli, if only my younger child has attained that level of spiciness.

It was a joy watching my kids slurping away, and best of all, cleaning up after the meal was a breeze :)

Chilli Prawn Linguine
recipe source

(serves 3)

500g uncooked medium to large sized prawns
250g linguine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
some lettuce, coarsely chopped
some dried parsley flakes

  • Shell and devein prawns, leave the tails intact.
  • Cook linguine in large saucepan of salted boiling water (2 litres of water plus 2 teaspoons of salt),  until al dente or just tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan, over medium heat, cook garlic and chilli, stirring, until fragrant. Add in prawns and cook until just changed in colour. Drain pasta and reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
  • Transfer pasta to frying pan with the reserved cooking liquid and lettuce; toss to combine. Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes and ground pepper if desired. Serve immediately.
(Note: this recipe serves as a rough guide only. Adjust the ingredient amounts according to individual preference.)


  1. This dish is simple yet good! Cooking is flexible and new dishes are being created every day. We cook according to our taste. A lousy cook would not have been able to do a good job even if there's a recipe to follow. You can cook! :) :)
    I'm sure there's more dishes to come from you. Looking forward to it!

  2. seldom see you cook dish but more to baking, but this Chilli Prawn Linguine look really delicious especially with all these fresh ingredients, well done.

  3. HHB, I am also lousy on cooking, I dunno how to differentiate a lot of veggie, different cut of meat and dunno the name for most fishes, what I know is eat hahaha... This dish is great, the prawns look so fresh the seem easy to prepare too, thanks for sharing. BTW I really love your photo skill, look so pro and dun look like from P&S camera.

  4. I was talking to my husband yesterday evening I wanted to cook linguine and I see your post. haha.

    Ur Chilli Prawn Linguine looks very appetizing.

    Same as you I also prefer to use chili padi instead and I think maybe dried chili (辣椒干)may be suitable too.

  5. hi,

    I'll cook this twice a week. =) it's easy and delicious.

  6. Wow! Lovely, it looks so delicious! I believe my daughter will like it. It's a healthy recipe as well. I must try one day :)...Thanks for sharing!

  7. I don't think you are a lousy cook, never think of that too! Because all your posted recipes here are wonderful, delicious and very outstanding one! Italian use to have simple pasta all the time with just very basic and simple ingredients. Garlic, good quality of olive oil or good fresh tomato will make a fantastic meal, just like what you do here. I admire your cooking so much as well as your dishes presentation. Always make me hungry :P

  8. Look at those prawns...
    The simplicity of this dish will bring out the flavour of the prawns very well.

  9. HHB, i love simple & one dish meal :)
    This looks delicious and great for me too! The colours look appetising too.
    Thanks for sharing!

  10. It looks so good:) Photos are perfect.

  11. Çok iştah açıcı bir görüntüsü var. Ellerinize, emeğinize sağlık.


  12. HBB I love your posts and you are a wonderful cook.. thanks for supporting AWW... their recieps are usually tested and home cook friendly, no busy ingredients...

  13. Dear HHB,

    I am like you, knowing nothing abt the different vege, meats etc .. so I always rely on NTUC's labels. If I do not know the ingredients, or cannot find, then I give up the recipe. You are so much better, able to replace what you cannot find.

    I love cooking pasta too, cos it is so simple and fast to cook, and fast to wash too. But a pity my fussy eaters will only take pasta with sauce like tomato and cream based .. so this one, no go, esp it is spicy...

  14. Wonderful colors and looks like a refreshing pasta rather then those heavily creamed ones. You know every time I tell my MIL I don't know which cut of meat etc, I will always get a lecture from her! But after the lecture, I still forgets which is what, lol! Anyway, simple yummy meals is all we need...thanks for the nice recipe. :)

  15. THis looks drop dead good lady

  16. I love the colour of those prawn, fresh and juicy. Indeed a meal I like to have for my lunch.

  17. You've got a lovely blog here, glad that I've stumbled upon it! I love Linguine with prawns as well.

  18. I love this pasta ! Simple and yet delish ! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  19. busygran, there is not much 'cooking' involved in this recipe! I can't even cut ingredients into equal portions/sizes!

    Sonia, this blog has always been dedicated to baking, I can't cook :(

    Jess, you should have seen those photos I posted in my earlier posts…using this same old camera. Practice makes perfect, my photos look more decent now, but they are still far from pro!

    Cook.Bake.Love, thanks for the tip!!

    nurul, hope you will like it!

    Kitchen Corner, you are so kind to me :):)

    Thanks wendyywy, Jessie, Nale and Fuat Gencal, Ms Pink Piglet!

    Sherlyn, I was also worried that my kids may not like their pasta without cream or tomato sauce. Luckily, they love it!

    Bee Bee, you can always check with her whenever in doubt ;)

  20. you are so lucky that your kids take spicy food. Older one is begining to but my youngest just refuse to experiment with it. The sight of red chilli is already enough to freak her out. Haiz.

  21. I love very simple dishes the most! Simple yet yummy and healthy... :) This should be the type I will cook often for my hubby-to-be next time. :P

  22. edith, most kids do not like spicy food. My boys love food, so they have learned to take spicy younger boy has no problem with laksa, or kimchi...but chilli padi is still too hot for him, he will need to call the fire engine over ;)

    Aimei, I am sure you will be a better cook than me ;) I could only cook fried rice for my husband before the kids arrive!

  23. Whoah..making me hungry in the middle of the night!!! =)

  24. Hehe... he's always worried next time he's going to lose weight cos' I like healthy dishes! I'm worried I'll be the one who will put on weight when I live with him! :P

  25. COOL!!! *.* <3