A College-Friendly Homemade Delicacy

Ideas for a grand meal, dumbed down for the college student’s time and budget.


Addison Aloian

This is a simplified version suitable for college students of my grandmother’s seafood pasta. Follow a few simple steps for a grand meal in no time. (Staff Photo by Addison Aloian)

Addison Aloian, Deputy Culture Editor

With COVID-19 calling for social distancing, being away from New York City is daunting for many students, so I’ve been trying to focus on the positives of this situation. The best part of being home for me? My family’s home-cooked meals.

One of my favorite meals is my grandmother’s seafood pasta and her saltine cracker heath bars for dessert. The original recipe calls for some complicated ingredients like mussels, clams, scallops, shrimp and white wine, but I’ve simplified the recipe to make it a bit more college-friendly.

Mimi’s Seafood Pasta


16 ounces linguine

Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup chicken/beef broth or vegetable stock — to substitute white wine

Two dashes of soy sauce

Two cups of milk — to substitute heavy cream or use a dairy-free alternative

Eight cloves of garlic, minced — optional

12 ounces of shrimp (peeled and uncooked) or three packs of Trader Joe’s vegan jackfruit

“Crab” cakes – if you want more seafood, the original recipe calls for 4 ounces mussels (cooked and drained), 6 ounces clams (cooked and drained), and 10 ounces scallops (uncooked)


  1. Cook the linguine in salted water until it’s al dent then drain and toss with olive oil or butter and set aside.
  1. Combine olive oil, broth/stock, garlic, soy sauce and milk in a new pan, then season the sauce with salt and pepper and bring it to a boil.
  1. Stir in the linguine and seafood and cook for about 5 minutes, or until shrimp have turned pink and the dish has a creamy consistency.
  1. Top with grated cheese if you so desire!

Saltine Cracker Heath Bars

Simple by nature, I didn’t have to make many changes to simplify this yummy recipe!


30 saltine crackers (or more) to cover cookie sheet

One cup sugar

Two sticks of butter — can substitute coconut oil for a vegan option

One 11 1/2 ounce package of milk chocolate morsels — can substitute dark if you prefer or for a vegan option


  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, making sure the inside edges are covered.
  2. Melt butter or coconut oil in a small pan over medium heat and stir in the sugar until it dissolves.
  3. Pour the mixture over the crackers and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
  4. Immediately pour the milk chocolate morsels over the hot crackers.
  5. Let it melt for a few minutes, then spread evenly over the crackers.
  6. Refrigerate or freeze it until the bars are completely cool and serve!

There’s almost nothing better than comfort food, especially in these uncertain times. Hang in there and have fun with these recipes!

Email Addison Aloian at [email protected]