Tag Archives: recipes

Scene Editor, Mia Orantia, confirms that this recipe is foolproof, as she successfully recreated the dish. Buon Appetito! 
(Photo: Mia Orantia)

College Culinary: Spaghetti alla Bolognese

USF student abroad takes on Spaghetti alla Bolognese

 Three unfamiliar streets passed, covered in cobblestones and illuminated by the red and green lights of traffic signs. I found myself lost. I was lost in an unfamiliar world, passed by strangers muttering words in Italian.As my stomach growled louder, I yearned for authentic Italian cuisine. I stumbled upon a restaurant smaller than most joints found in San Francisco. As I slowly entered, a waiter said, “buona sera,” and seated me. These kind words were followed by the best Spaghetti alla Bolognese I have ever tried in my entire life.After this experience, I was inspired to recreate the dish with a personal touch. Enjoy!

Spaghetti alla Bolognese 

Prep time: 10 minutes

Overall time: 50 minutes


  • 1 onion
  • 1 pound of spaghetti
  • 4 fresh tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil for the pan
  • 2 cups of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ½ pound of ground beef or turkey.
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • Basil


1) In a large pan, cover the bottom with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Cut three cloves of garlic and 3/4 of an onion into the pan, and saute them until brown.

2) Cut four fresh tomatoes into small dices and add them when the garlic and onion is browned. Add a generous amount of salt & pepper, then stir. Add three bay leaves into the mixture. Put on high heat until boiling. After boiling, set on low heat and let sit for another 40 minutes.

3) In a separate pan, cover the bottom with extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Add the rest of the onions and garlic, and saute them until brown. Add beef or turkey to the pan, as well as a generous amount of salt & pepper. Cook until the meat is done. After the meat is cooked, pour in the tomato paste and slowly add water until consistency is no longer thick. Stir in the sauce with the meat and add basil. Let mixture sit on low heat for 20 minutes.

4) Cook the spaghetti in a large pot with salted water. Drain noodles and add the tomato sauce. Let pasta sit in low heat for 10 minutes. Plate the spaghetti and finish with the meat sauce. Yum! You’re done!

She Came, She Ate, She Conquered: Food Columnist Karina Alexander graduates and signs off

Food Columnist Karina Alexander graduates and signs off.

San Francisco has been my home for the past four years. I have tried great food, developed an respectable palette that consists of more than Top Ramen and Jell-o, and explored more restaurants than I can count (or even remember). Although I am sad to leave, I am excited to share my food adventures at my next destination. San Francisco has shaped the foodie I am today and left me a closet full of food tips that I bid you all adieu with.  

KARINA’s Do’s and Don’ts of the SF Food Scene

Don’t be afraid to take advice from a stranger

I have talked to too many of my friends who think that strangers who give them suggestions on where to eat are crazy. I think my friends are crazy. The best unknown restaurants I have eaten at have been recommended by people on the bus, strangers who have eavesdropped on a conversation, and even homeless people. That being said, never pass up an opportunity for good food.


Don’t knock it until you try it

Over the years, I have found myself fond of foods that I claimed to have absolutely despised. I got caught off guard one night when a friend called me out on it. This being said, you really won’t be able to enjoy the food of San Francisco without at least giving the weird cuisine a shot.


Do ask for the recipes

This is one of the better tips I’ve gotten over the years. If you are out eating somewhere and absolutely love something, ask for the recipe! Most of the time they will provide you with it or at least the general way in which the food was prepared. I was always too shy to ask for the recipe to some of my favorite dishes, but more times than not, chefs are happy to share! This provides you with a framework to either adapt the recipe to put your own spin on it or simply remake it to share with friends.


Do branch out

For some reason, it took me the majority of my time living in San Francisco to realize that there is amazing food just outside of the city’s walls. I have had some of the best Dim Sum in Daly City, amazing soul food in Oakland, and Puerto Rican food to die for in San Rafael. If you have a car, take advantage of it and go explore the Bay Area! There is tons of food waiting for you to try it, but sometimes you need to make a special trek outside of the City to get to it.


Seasonal Cooking with Karina Alexander


Shrimp with Roasted Asparagus (Serves 4)

- 1 pound of raw, deveined shrimp
- Tamari or soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. crushed giner
- 5 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 pound cleaned asparagus (you can use green beans too!)
- fresh pepper and kosher flake salt
- Extra olive oil for coating

- Marinate the shrimp in enough tamari or soy sauce to coat, ginger and sesame oil. Put in
refrigerator for at least an hour
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a sheet pan with a drizzle of olive oil
- Preheat a large skillet with olive oil and place the marinated shrimp in the hot pan- cook until the shrimp turn pink and curl up
- Coat asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes or till tender and browned
- Serve with quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad
(Serves 4)

- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup crushed almonds
- 6 tbsp. olive oil

- Bring vegetable broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan
- Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes
- Let cool to room temperature and add crushed almonds and olive oil
- Serve with the cooked shrimp and roasted asparagus

Strawberry Compote with Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding
(Serves 4)

- 1 cup of arborio rice
- 3 cups of milk
- 1 pint of fresh strawberries- cut up
- 2 cup of sugar
- 2 vanilla beans- scraped
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- ½ cup of water

- Bring arborio rice and milk to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 25 minutes or until tender
- Stir frequently
- Add 1 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and cinnamon- stir
- In another small saucepan, bring water, 1 cup of sugar, orange zest and cut strawberries to a boil- reduce to
a simmer until thick
- Serve rice pudding warm with a dollop of compote

Cooking seasonally is not as difficult as some may think it is. The farmers market is always a great place to shop year round and most of the vendors have great recipe ideas on how to cook the produce you buy. When in doubt, think minimally cooked vegetables coated in olive oil or fresh fruit sliced or cooked down into jams or compotes.

Regardless, produce always tastes better when in season and not shipped from halfway around the world.

Karina’s Recipes for the Perfect Anti-Valentine’s Day Date

My least favorite time of the year is around the corner and, being single once again, I am in need of something to do that doesn’t involve chocolate hearts and pink stuffed animals. While I commend those of you who have dates this year, for those of you who don’t here are few ideas on how you can make sure you don’t end up sitting in a dark room eating ice cream by yourself.

Have a “Screw You Valentine’s Day” bake off: Get a bunch of friends together and hold a baking challenge. Nothing screams “screw you” more than a little competition. Have each friend bring a baked good and sample each of the different desserts to determine the winner. You can even have different categories such as vegan, non-vegan and gluten free. By the end of the night, everyone will be so high off of sugar that they will forget what holiday it even is.

Get a bunch of friends together for a dinner party: Make sure that you have nothing remotely close to a themed dinner. Stray away from anything red or heart-shaped. Get a bunch of single friends and make a random dish that you’ve always wanted to try. For this, think ethnic. And since you’re single, you can eat all the garlic and onions you want. Or have everyone make something and have a plethora of food that will send everyone into a happy food coma.

Try a new restaurant that has been at the top of your list: While everyone else is going out to dinner with their dates, make a date with a group of friends to try that one restaurant that has been on the top of your restaurant “to do” list since the beginning of freshman year. At dinner try the weirdest thing on the menu, and feel free to make fun of those who are on actual dates.

If all else fails, succumb to an evening of chocolate and cheesy movie watching: Sometimes you are inevitably sucked into the complete lameness of Valentine’s Day, and may want to join in the festivities. If these feelings should occur, gather friends and make these easy chocolate truffles:

- 8oz high quality dark chocolate
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- cocoa powder, coconut flakes, and chopped peanuts (for coating)

- Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan
- Chop chocolate and place in a glass bowl
- Add the cream and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts, let sit for 2 hours until room temperature and the consistency of frosting
- Roll into small truffles and then into choice of coatings
- Enjoy with a Ryan Gosling movie, preferably The Notebook or Crazy, Stupid, Love. That’ll get you in the Valentine’s Day spirit!

So folks, this year if you’re single on February 14th, take the day as an opportunity not to wallow but to get together with friends. Of course anything that deals with food is music to my ears; so don’t hesitate to try something new and fantastic this Tuesday!

Tasty Treats for the Spookiest Season

My favorite time of year has finally settled in and restaurants and bakeries are in full swing of selling pumpkin flavored everything. The air has begun to turn brisk in the evenings and sometimes there is nothing better than curling up in the evening with a book and a hot drink. Even better are all of the fall goodies that you can make! Below are easy recipes for my top five favorite Fall treats.

Spiced Apple Cider
To me, nothing is more seasonal than a mug of hot apple cider. Not only is it amazing on a cold night but also it is easy to make and can be prepared in big batches for entertaining.
Bring 1 bottle of apple cider to a boil in a medium saucepan. To the apple cider add 2 tablespoons of whole cloves, 1 tablespoon allspice and 2 cinnamon sticks. Boil for 5 minutes and immediately strain through a sieve into a glass pitcher.

Pumpkin Cookies
This is my grandma’s recipe for pumpkin cookies. She would let us mix in the chocolate chips and always let me eat the raw cookie dough (something my mom wouldn’t!)
Preheat the oven to 350º. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together 1.5 cups of butter, 2 cups of brown sugar, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 egg, 1 can of pumpkin and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until thoroughly mixed. In a separate bowl, mix 4 cups of flour, 2 cups of oats, 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (equal parts of cinnamon and nutmeg work if you don’t have the spice mix). Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add 2 cups of dark chocolate chips. Mix until thoroughly incorporated (no dry clumps of flour!). Place spoonfuls onto greased baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the trays and cool on wire racks.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola with Pumpkin Seeds and Pecans
This delicious granola is easy to make and eat!
Preheat the oven to 325º. In a large bowl mix together 2.5 cups of oats, 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice, 1 cup of chopped pecans, 1 cup of pumpkin seeds (pepitas) and a pinch of salt. In a saucepan on low heat, mix together ½ cup of honey, 1 small can of pumpkin, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk until the honey just starts to become runny. Mix honey mixture into oat mixture and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes stirring every 10 and then add in pepitas. Bake for another 20 minutes or until golden.

Homemade Caramels
Make these in advance and wrap them in wax paper for a tasty Halloween treat!
In a large saucepan, melt 1 cup of butter. Add 1 package of brown sugar and a pinch of salt to the melted butter and stir. Add 1 cup of light corn syrup to the mixture and gradually add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk to boiling mixture making sure to consistently stir. Boil for about 15- 20 minutes until mixture reaches a dark golden color and starts to firm. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and spread mixture into a buttered baking dish. Wait for caramels to cool and cut into squares.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds with Rosemary and Sea Salt
As a kid, I used to carve pumpkins with my parents. We would always roast the seeds afterwards in humongous batches that would be gone within a few days!
Preheat the oven to 325º. Mix 1.5 cups of raw pumpkin seeds, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and 1 teaspoon of salt and spread over a baking sheet in one single layer. Bake until golden brown stirring every 10 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of crushed rosemary on the seeds halfway through baking. Serve warm.