Collegian Cooks: The Italian incident

Lawrence Lam and Skyler Leonard

Too many college students believe Italian food means cheap pizza and the rare family gathering at Olive Garden.

It’s such a pity to think that many never attempt a true Italian-themed dinner with friends and family.  With the proper appetizers and a little know how (and also wine), cooking a fun and delicious Italian meal that deviates from the college norm (pizza) is easy.


And if you don’t have friends or family, make it anyway. In general, leftovers are a luxury; there’s nothing like a midnight run to the fridge for cold pizza. But fancy leftovers are a rapturous delicacy that will surely leave your friends envious at lunch the next day.

Here are three meals to aid you in your quest for proper Italian food:


What you will need:

  • French bread slices (yeah, it’s french bread for Italian night … sorry.)
  • 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • One sliced ball of mozzarella
  • A bit of olive oil
  • A dash of balsamic vinegar
  • Handful of sliced basil

Step one: Dice the tomatoes and basil then throw them into a bowl along with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Mix this all together.

Step two: Slice mozzarella into circles and then place this on to fancy slices of bread. Take your tomato mixture and place a spoonful on top of the cheese and bread. Repeat process and be happy. Yay appetizers.

the italian incidentSausage and peppers

What you will need:

  • Italian sausage
  • Diced onion
  • 2 diced peppers
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • A little oregano
  • Spoonful of tomato paste
  • 3/4 a cup of chicken stock

Step one: Begin browning the sausage in a large skillet. While this begins to cook, dice your vegetables.


Step two: Once the sausages are browned but still pink on the inside, remove them from heat and dice them. In the meantime, add peppers and onions back into the same skillet.

Step three: Add garlic, tomato paste, tomatoes, chicken stock, basil and oregano. Put the sausage back into the skillet and let all of this come to a simmer.

Spaghetti squash with garlic

What you will need:

  • 2 spaghetti squash
  • Half a stick of butter
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic

Step one: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place your squash on a baking sheet and poke holes in them so they do not explode and ruin everything. Place them in the oven for about 45 min to an hour.

Step two: Once the squash are soft, take them out of the oven and ever so carefully cut them in half. They will be really, outstandingly hot.

Step three: Remove the seeds from inside the squash and then drag a fork across the insides, the motion will make the squash into spaghetti. Magic.

Step four: Melt some butter in  a pot and then add garlic. Stir in the spaghetti squash and then serve.

Collegian Cooks Skyler Leonard and Lawrence Lam can be reached at or on twitter @skyler_leonard and @lawrenceklam.