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Want Dinner In 30 Minutes? Try Jessica Nguyen's Tomato and Garlic Linguine

There are some nights where the thought of cooking seems like a huge drag. You've just finished work, it's already dark, and the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. This is usually where we turn to Jessica Nguyen, a home cook from Melbourne who has been posting simple, easy-to-follow recipes on her Instagram stories.

Over the past few months in isolation, Jessica has amassed a following of over 30,000 cooking enthusiasts. From dumplings to focaccia, shakshuka to red curry, she shares each recipe in a way that is easy to understand and almost completely fool-proof.

Here, she shares her recipe for a simple pasta dish, one that will be ready in 30 minutes. Not only is this dish super tasty, but it's also quicker than waiting for an Uber Eats order to arrive, and much, much cheaper too. Read on for the recipe, and find out more about Jessica Nguyen in her The Makers feature here

Jessica Nguyen's Simple Roasted Tomato and Garlic Linguine

Serves: 4

Ingredients: 9

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Skill Level: Easy


  • 400g of linguine (spaghetti, fettuccine or any other long pasta is also fine)

  • 6 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 2 punnets of small cherry tomatoes

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil

  • 1 teaspoon of anchovy paste

  • 50g of grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon of chilli oil, preferably my homemade chilli oil recipe here

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Place your tomatoes into a roasting tray, add in the garlic, olive oil and some salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celcius or until the tomatoes blister and have softened.

  2. Whilst you’re waiting for your tomatoes to roast, pull out and prepare the rest of your ingredients. Cook your pasta until al dente and reserve 1 cup of pasta water before you drain out the pasta.

  3. Heat a pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoons of anchovy paste and allow to fry off for about 30 seconds and then add your tomatoes and the juice from the tray straight into the pan.

  4. Throw your pasta into the pan and allow it to soak up the oil and tomato juices. Once your pasta has absorbed most of the sauce add in ½ a cup of your reserved pasta water. The starch in the pasta water is going to thicken the sauce and emulsify it. Add the remaining half cup of pasta water a minute later if you want your pasta to be saucier.

  5. Turn off the heat, throw in the basil leaves and stir through.

  6. Squeeze half a lemon onto your pasta. This lifts and brightens the sauce, balancing the sweetness from the tomato and saltiness from the anchovy paste and cheese. Sprinkle a handful of cheese into your pasta and stir to melt and combine.

  7. Serve onto a plate, add more grated cheese as well as some fresh basil and cracked pepper.

  8. Finally finish the pasta by drizzling some of my homemade chilli oil (recipe saved in my highlights). The chilli oil adds a kick of spiciness that nicely complements the sweet, salty and acidic flavours from the rest of the ingredients.

  9. Enjoy with your favourite glass of wine. Mine is Maretti Langhe Rosso 2017 Barbera and Nebbiolo blend

For more from Jessica, follow her @jessica_nguyen_

Take a tour of Jessica's Melbourne home for our series, The Makers.

Looking for more dinner inspiration? Here's the perfect dinner for you, according to your star sign.



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