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The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Dorm room cooking: Penne pasta


Collegian | Chloe Leline

Katherine Borsting, Staff Reporter

Dorm life is an experience the majority of college students will live through. Many do not have much in their space other than some furniture, a mini fridge and a microwave. 

The dining halls are a great place to get your food, but at some point in the semester, the repetitive cycle of foods offered can become unappealing, and something new to eat can make all the difference in a student’s day-to-day life. 


But how can students cook with the limited tools of a mini fridge and a microwave? The microwave is a universal appliance and holds the power to make some arguably delicious dishes. 

Students can make easy recipes like pasta for the low price of just below $6. 

Below are the instructions on how to do so. 

What You Will Need 

For this recipe, students will need garlic, basil (optional), one tomato, penne pasta and vegetable oil. 

Cooking Steps 

The first step is to chop all ingredients. This will be to dice the tomato — dice meaning make small cubes — mince the garlic clove and, if you’re using basil, chop that up as well. 

When finished with the preparation of ingredients, combine them in a microwave-safe bowl. 

Once done, add the pasta — about a handful will work or enough to serve one person. Then stir it around to ensure it has some sort of moisture on the noodles. 

If possible at this point in the process, it would be best to cover it in cling wrap. However, it is unlikely students have access to this, so pasta may have to be microwaved a bit longer. 

The next step is to place the bowl into the microwave and set it on high for two minutes. 

Once the two minutes are done, students will need to stir and add 80 milliliters of water or around one-third of a cup. Then continue to stir again.


The final step is to return the bowl to the microwave and set it to medium for four minutes or until the pasta seems cooked through. If when pulled out the pasta looks dry, add a splash of water and mix it up, and it should be good to go. 

At this point, the food is ready to be eaten; however, other components like cheese or vegetables can be added to spice things up. 

In just about six minutes, students can have a delicious and, in loose terms, home-cooked meal, made right in their dorm room. 

With some of these items such as the basil and the pasta, there will be leftover ingredients that can be used to make more later on or for a different dish. 

While the spring semester begins to come to an end, the meals offered in the dining halls can start to feel boring. Sometimes students just want something simple to eat that is quick and easy. 

This is the beauty of microwavable meals. Usually, they are on the cheaper end in comparison to eating out, and students never have to leave their dorm room when making them.

Reach Katherine Borsting at or on Twitter @katbor2025

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