Winter storm Hercules just bombarded the northeast with the wrath of a Greek god, leaving millions already wishing for summer. While we’re still bracing for some cold months ahead, it doesn’t mean we can’t pretend it’s summer — at least with our food choices.
Nothing reminds me of summer more than a colorful pasta salad. Millions of iterations of this dish exist, but I prefer to keep my pasta salad simple. All you need are some veggies and left over pasta.
Here’s my summer pasta salad recipe that’ll cure the winter blues.
Summer Pasta Salad Recipe
Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
- Italian dressing
- 1 box of cooked pasta (any shape)
- 2 carrots
- 1 green pepper
- 10 wax beans
- 1 small tomato
- 1/8 cup Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
My boyfriend and I recently celebrated our four year anniversary. We’re not a big anniversary couple, considering we both almost forget every year, but this year we wanted to do something special.
Since we’re both food obsessed, we thought it would be fun to celebrate by making a nice dinner, more specifically, a seafood dinner.
I don’t cook seafood often, so I turned to a Melissa d’Arabian recipe for some help. I chose to make pasta pescatore, which was surprisingly simple and delicious.
Melissa d’Arabian’s Pasta Pescatore
I made a few modifications. In the original recipe, the seafood consists of flounder and shrimp. This is a great seafood combination to use to keep the price down. Since it was our anniversary, we decided to use mussels, shrimp and scallops. Mussels are surprisingly cheap, but scallops can get a little pricey. If you’re cooking on a budget, feel free to use whatever is on sale.
If you’ve never tried chicken piccata, I suggest you rectify that immediately. Piccata is a method of food prep where meat is sliced, coated, sautéed and served in a sauce.
In the world of chicken piccata, that means that beautiful chicken breasts are sliced, dredged in seasoned flour, sautéed in butter and olive oil and served with a lemon, caper sauce.
If that doesn’t interest you, you can always eat ramen.
My favorite chicken piccata recipe comes from Giada De Laurentis (I’ve tried other recipes and nothing beats hers). My recipe is halved, since I only cook for my roommate and myself. I also nixed the parsley. Here’s how I do it.
Shrimp Scampi and Linguine: White wine, butter, garlic, scallions, Cayenne
Happy National Shrimp Scampi Day! Next to National Blueberry Popover Day, today is my favorite national food day of the entire year.
Why you ask? Because nothing beats shrimp scampi. I could turn away from a well made white wine sauce, but the second you mix in shrimpy goodness, I’m hooked.
In celebration of this momentous occasion, I wanted to share my favorite shrimp scampi recipe with you. Try it out and maybe National Shrimp Scampi Day will become one of your favorite days too!
Shrimp Scampi Pasta
Ingredients: (Serves 2-4)
- 1 box of linguine
- 1 pound of shrimp
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 scallions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of white wine
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
Today was a long day and to top it off, I haven’t been food shopping in a week. These are the nights every cooking college student dreads.
The typical starting point for my no-food-left dinners is the freezer. In my freezer, I found three boxes of English muffins, sugar-free ice pops, and, in the back right corner, two frozen hamburger patties.
Since ice pops aren’t the best dinner base, I started with the hamburger. I added a few other pantry ingredients and came up with a new and satisfying meal.
Cheeseburger Pasta Bake
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
- 2 hamburger patties
- half a box of pasta (Macaroni or Rotini)
- 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/8 cup of diced cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup of steam-in-bag corn
- 1 mini dill pickle, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt, black pepper, and Cayenne pepper
Canned clams, cayenne, garlic, Parmesan, oregano, olive oil, white wine and salt
One of my favorite pasta dishes is pasta with clam sauce. I love the dish, but I hate ordering it out because it seems too simple to spend $15 on. That’s why I’ve taken the college student approach and decided that if it’s too expensive to buy, it’s time to make.
I didn’t want to spend the extra dough on fresh clams, so I turned to the canned version instead. Canned clams cost about a dollar a jar and have a more concentrated flavor than fresh clams. By cutting back on spending on the main ingredient, the dish becomes college budget friendly.
Here’s how I made pasta with clam sauce on a college allowance.
Pasta with Clam Sauce Ingredients: (Serves 4)
College students love eating out. We’re all broke, but that doesn’t stop us from throwing down $25 on an entree from the new gastropub down the road. It’s a way to socialize and eat something not made from a galley kitchen, but it’s killing our bottom line.
My pockets are particularly light at the moment and it doesn’t help that my house it surrounded by amazing Italian restaurants. The temptation to spend is overwhelming, so I’ve come up with some tricks on how to eat restaurant quality Italian food, without paying the restaurant price.
Don’t Skimp on the Sauce
The main difference between college kitchen Italian food and restaurant quality Italian food is the sauce. Good Italian restaurants hand make their sauces daily. They simmer vats of tomatoes and spices for hours,which is why their sauce tastes so good. When I make Italian food, I just pour jarred tomato sauce over pasta and call it a day. Jarred tomato sauces are great because they’re cheap and easy, but they don’t compare in flavor to homemade sauces.
Want to know how to work around the system? Buy pasta sauce from your favorite Italian restaurant. Most Italian places sell their sauces by the pint. They cost around $2, which is the same price as jarred sauce, but are a million times better tasting. All you have to do is cook a box of pasta, throw on the sauce, and you’ll have the same restaurant dish for a quarter of the price.