So as I alluded to in my last post, we cooked Italian food tonight in class! Now I’m fourth-generation Italian (my beloved Nana came over from Sicily in 1914, and my other great-grandparents at different times), so I do know a thing or two about Italian cooking. I was trying to channel my grandmas and my mom when I was in class, so I hope that helped my group out in making our dishes!
We made lots and lots of pasta, which was of course good, except I would have liked to have cooked more meaty dishes. That’s because in Italy, pasta isn’t ever really a main course, but instead a “Primo Piatto” (first dish). My favorites are chicken saltimbocca (recipe below) and the perennial Italian-American favorite, chicken parmesan. So that would have been nice, but, alas, we spent the whole night making sauces.
The sauces we made were marinara, pesto, and alfredo, and they all were pretty delicious. I love making pesto in the summer when our fresh basil plant at home is in full bloom, and it’s so easy to make! The marinara we made was a bit un-traditional, because it was spicier than I would normally make and we added sugar! I definitely should have tasted it before adding those ingredients… Our alfredo had some trouble thickening, so we added lots of extra cheese! That’s never a problem for me, though. Oh, speaking of that, here are my rules for Italian cooking, if you were curious.
You can never have too much basil.
You can never have too much garlic.
And, most importantly, you can never have too much CHEESE!
Anyways, enough talking, more pictures! Mmmmmmm, though not as delicious as the homeland, I’ll admit :).
Till next time… happy eating! I hear we’re going across the Pacific to Asia next week, so I’m definitely excited!
Recipe of the Week: Chicken Saltimbocca: Saltimbocca translates to “jumps in the mouth,” and this is such a flavorful dish it will do just that! It’s also really easy to make, and is a delicious addition to any meal you want to prepare. Use frozen spinach and dry it off really well - it’ll make everything much easier to work with and you won’t have to worry about sandy spinach leaves!
I just realized all of these recipes have prosciutto in them, so I’ll try to switch it up next week, especially for those who can’t eat/don’t like prosciutto!
Whenever I tell someone that Caltech has an undergraduate population of less than one thousand people, their first reaction is disbelief. “Really?” they exclaim. “You must know everyone! How can you get a real college experience with so few undergrads?”
One of the most exciting aspects of college life is the freedom that students enjoy when living on their own. When most students think about college life, one of the first things that comes to mind is Greek life, with the many sororities and fraternities on campuses across the country. While Caltech does not have Greek life, per se, we do have a unique housing system, similar to that of Hogwarts. There are eight houses and one residence on campus: Avery, Blacker, Dabney, Fleming, Lloyd, Page, Ricketts, Ruddock, and the Bechtel Residence. Each of the houses has its own unique culture, character, and traditions. I am a member of Ruddock House!
This past year was so different than most of us could have ever imagined. Living in “the virtual school year” posed a plethora of challenges, but at the same time, it opened the door to new possibilities. As a society, we learned how to better operate in a virtual world, and as individuals, we had time for new endeavors. For myself, this meant taking the leap of faith to move away from home and live with some fellow Techers. While I had already had the experience of moving away from home and coming to live in the Caltech houses, this was quite different. Instead of living in organized student residences with hundreds of other students, a meal plan, and tons of support resources, I was about to go live with just 5 other people (some of which I did not know super well) and we had to find and manage our own housing, food, and necessities.