Quick Pasta Meals for Students

Victoria McConathy, Staff Writer

If you’re like me, you probably get home from school fairly tired, and the last thing on your mind is preparing a gourmet dinner. Obviously after an eight hour school day you’re hungry though, and the snack-sized bag of Cheez-itz isn’t cutting it… What if I told you there was a way to avoid both options? You can prepare a dinner that looks like was made at your nearest Olive Garden for half of the time (and price).

My absolute favorite thing to make at home on a lazy day is chicken pesto alfredo pasta, and you only need three things to do it; the Chicken (optional), penne pasta noodles, and pesto alfredo sauce. The noodles take about fifteen minutes to boil, and then you just heat your sauce in a saucepan. While you’re waiting on these two things, you can cook your chicken. To avoid even less of a wait, thaw your chicken out in the morning before you head to school so it’s ready when you get home. The suggested amount of time to cook the chicken is around five to seven minutes on each side. After cooking the chicken, it is likely that the other two things are done as well; to assemble, just simply mix the pasta and sauce, and then put a few pieces of chicken on top. For looks and extra flavor, you could add some parmesan cheese as well.

My second favorite happens to be another pasta, but a bit more of a homemade twist; A spin on the average spaghetti. Although this one tends to be a little more effort, it’s still time effective. You’ll need tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion powder, garlic powder, parsely, oregano, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and penne noodles. Like last time, the noodles will cook for about fifteen minutes after boiling point; during this time, the tomato sauce and paste should be heated for about five minutes, then the spices can be added. I usually do about a tablespoon each. Once everything is mixed together, it should remain on very low heat until the pasta is finished cooking. After combining the sauce and noodles, put them in a oven-safe pan with the cheeses mixed in, and bake for about five minutes on 350. 

Lastly, my family’s ancient recipe: goulash. For this you’ll need Elbow pasta, two cans of tomato sauce, and one pound of ground beef. Once you have the water boiling, add the noodles and cook for twenty minutes. While the noodles are cooking, put the ground beef in a skillet and cook on high until the meat is completely done. Once the meat is done, you can add the cans of tomato soup. After adding everything together, it can be served alone or with crackers.

All three of these meals are especially good for winter because of how cozy they are. They’re very easy, and they do not take a long time once arriving home from school.