Chicken and Creamy Dijon Linguine

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” – Federico Fellini.

Very few women I know today lead simple lives. Most of us are juggling multiple roles with work, family and friends, let alone all the work-out regimes and beauty routines. Whenever I catch up with my girlfriends and ask how they’re doing, the most common response is not “Fine, thanks!” but “Busy, really busy.”

Life gets busy, but that doesn’t mean we need to compromise the taste of our meal as a result! This rich and decadent Dijon cream sauce is very easy to make and it pairs well with chicken, pork and even fish and can be used to create many other great dishes. Exactly what we need for a busy mid-week dinner!

Chicken and Cream Dijon pasta


Ingredients:

  • 200 gram linguine, cooked
  • 2 boneless chicken cutlets (sliced and seasoned with salt & pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 cups whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp of chicken broth

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Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium low heat.
2. Add chicken and garlic; fry the chicken until completely cooked.
3. Remove chicken from pan.
4. Add onion to pan, salute until they turn transparent.
5. Add the white wine to the pan.
6. Simmer until the volume is reduced by half, then add the whipping cream, mustard and chicken broth.
7. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat a spoon.
8. Return Chicken to the sauce, and simmer for an additional 1 minutes.
9. Serve over cooked linguine.

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Linguini with Clams and Garlic Butter Sauce

Sigh! Looks like we are having a rainy (Halloween) weekend =(
With the bad weather dampening the spirits, I’m in the mood for a flavorful dinner.

This is the perfect recipe for one of those lazy days, you don’t have to think about it and it still guarantees a great dish.
You simply have to mix garlic butter, white wine and clams together and pour everything over the pasta. The linguini will soak up the clam broth and flavor, this light sauce also compliments angel hair.

Well I guess gloomy weather doesn’t always have to be depressing or mind numbing. Sometimes I just can’t find anything more soothing than a good movie night, with the rain splashing down on my windows, lights low, candles lit, dinner ready and a rom-com movie just about to begin…


clams with garlic butter 1 clams with garlic butter

Ingredients (serving for 2):

  • 0.5 lb dried linguine
  • 24 littleneck clams
  • 4 tbs crushed garlic
  • 4tbs white wine
  • Pinch of parsley leaves and red pepper flakes for garnish

For garlic butter (4tbs)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

Directions:
Garlic butter
1. In a small bowl, combine softened butter, minced garlic and parmesan cheese.
2. Season with garlic salt, Italian seasoning, pepper and paprika. Mix until smooth.

Pasta
1. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente.
2. Steam 24 littleneck clams and set aside.
3. In a small saucepan, melt garlic butter over medium-low heat.
4. Add crushed garlic and then wine.
5. When butter starts to bubble, add clams and mix around until clams are well coated.
6. Place pasta in a serving bowl, and top with the clam mixture.
7. Garnish with Parmesan, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes.


 

Conchiglie with Roasted Tomato and Tiger Prawn

My first encounter with Italy dated back 20 years ago, when my family and I took a summer vacation there. Our first stop was Rome the eternal city, the whole place was ablaze in a heat wave, everything was alive with warmth, sunshine and energy. As a child I was fascinated by all the beautiful historic monuments and arts. My little brother, with his sensitive stomach, got worn as the voyage continued. Me on the other hand, got more energetic as the days passed, stuffing myself with gelato as big as my face everyday…
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Soon summer vacation ended and I was back to my life as a busy fourth-grader. But somehow in the back of my mind I guarded those good memories…
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By the time I made another trip to Italy, 18 years has passed. This time to Venice, with my husband (fiancé back then). Newly engaged, we talked endlessly about our dream house and wedding preparation. And… kept getting lost in the maze of canals. One day it was raining and we lost our way in the alleys again.
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Drenched and tired, we finally decided to take shelter in a modest looking restaurant. There it was, I tasted one of the best conchiglie (shell pasta) in my life. The sauce made with prawn roe was so rich, silky and luscious, deeply infused with freshness…

Isn’t it funny how food always recall the fondest memories?! Somehow I relived all the conversations we had, all the dreams we shared while I remade this dish…
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Conchiglie with Roasted Tomato and Tiger Prawn unnamed

Ingredients
  • 6 tiger prawns
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds conchiglie

Directions

  1. Using kitchen scissors to cut off all the prawn’s leg and antennae, and cut the tip of the prawn’s head.
  2. Devein all the prawns- make a slit along the middle of the back and then pull out the veins.
  3. Peel 4 of the prawns, cut the prawn into bite-size dice. Reserve the heads and 2 whole prawns.
  4. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add reserved prawn heads and roe. Sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add tomato paste; stir for 3 minutes.
  6. Stir in tomatoes, wine, garlic.
  7. Add cream; boil 2 minutes over low heat.
  8. Simmer just until prawn flavor infuses cream, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Pressing on prawn heads to extract as much flavors as possible.
  9. Discard all the shells. (The sauce can be prepared in advance. Cover separately and chill.)
  10. Heat the pan with medium to high heat. When the pan is about ready, add the 2 whole prawns in the pan. Cook for 2 mins or until the shell changes color. Turn to the other side and cook for 1 min further.
  11. Transfer sauce to saucepan. Add in the bite-size pieces of prawn. Gently cook over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  12. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.
  13. Drain; return pasta to pot. Add sauce; toss over medium-high heat until sauce coats pasta, about 4 minutes.
  14. 14. Season with salt and pepper and garnish the dish with the whole prawns on top.