As I settle into my brand new Henle, excited to finally have an apartment, I am faced with a daunting reality: I need to cook for myself. With the regret that I cannot go to Epi every night and the acknowledgment that I wish to limit my time and intake at Leo’s, I, like many other Hoyas adjusting to their new living situations, must begin to seek alternate forms of nourishment. I like cooking, but I rarely have time to cook a full-fledged meal; still, I’d prefer something more than a quick PB&J as “dinner.”

So no, this is not a recipe for the perfect English muffin pizza. Nor am I attempting to join the ranks of kitchen greats such as molecular gastronomist José Andrés or Dowager Empress of Butter PaulaDeen. I merely wish to provide my fellow Hoyas with a bridge between making Café Milano in their kitchens and coming to the delightful discovery that there is a Jetson’s-esque soda machine downstairs at Leo’s. This column is for the culinarily curious — for those who have some time to spare to make themselves a decent meal, yet who aren’t Rachael Ray. If you’re in the mood to cook something that takes a little longer than three minutes, with the resources of a college student, then look no further. Just blast some Beyoncé in your kitchen and get ready for a simple, yet delicious meal.

For the inaugural recipe, I give you the “Oh-So-Fancy Orzo.” It’s like if spaghetti and marinara sauce studied abroad together and then came back exclusively listening to cool Euro-music. Whip up this delicious dish for a group of friends; a box of orzo is typically enough for eight so you can appease the Italian grandmother within you.

Oh-So-Fancy Orzo

a box of orzo

tomato sauce

olive oil

balsamic vinegar


parmesan cheese

2 cloves raw garlic

2 small onions

rosemary and/or oregano

28 oz. chicken stock


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cook the orzo as directed on box.

2. While the orzo cooks, prepare your sauce. Start with a cup of tomato sauce as a base in a large saucepan. Mix in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar (a couple tablespoons at most). Dice up onion and garlic as desired and then mix them into the sauce. Add in some rosemary and/or oregano. Double the amount if your herbs are fresh.

3. Stir thoroughly and add in your chicken stock to achieve the desired consistency. If the sauce is too watery for your taste, you can thicken it with more tomato sauce, a dash of mustard and/or a  splash of  moscato wine to really have a party. Stir well and finish off with salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Once the orzo has finished cooking, drain and combine with sauce in a baking dish and top with parmesan to taste. Place the dish in the oven or microwave for a short while to get the cheese to melt and crust before serving, being careful not to burn the cheese.

Brendan Quinn is a junior in the College, his column LIFE BEYOND LEO’S appears every Friday inthe guide

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