Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

How one meal became the most stressful part of spring break

After hours of slaving over the pasta and sauce, Turman finally had a delicious plate of pasta.
After hours of slaving over the pasta and sauce, Turman finally had a delicious plate of pasta.

When I decided to cook dinner one night over spring break, I didn’t know it’d be the most stressful part of my break.

The day before I cooked, I decided to prepare rigatoni with sweet sausage and tomato sauce from “The Sopranos Family Cookbook.” I doubled the recipe that said it would feed six to make sure a house of ten would be held over for a night.

I set out to the local Piggly Wiggly to find the short list of ingredients. After searching the aisles, I found two pounds of sausage, four garlic cloves, 70 oz. of crushed tomatoes, basil, olive oil, basil and two pounds of rigatoni.

I was only missing a bottle of white wine. For that, I went to the liquor store on the next block.

After the worker told me how to find out if a wine was dry or not, I felt lost in the wine section, but chose one with my limited knowledge.

By the time I started cooking, the whole house was hungry and the sauce I was making was taking longer than I expected. The sauce only had seven ingredients, but the first almost made me stop altogether.

The recipe calls for the casing of each pound of sausage, one sweet and one spicy, to be pulled off before being cut finely. As I started, I  discovered that it wasn’t as simple as that. I employed one of my friends on the trip, and we went to town while trying to figure out the best way to not go crazy before we even started.

Photo by Kasey Turman | The Miami Student
After casing the sausages, the next step was to cut them up to be put in the sauce.

By the time we got the casings off, I threw the meat into a pot with olive oil and garlic that another housemate had been preparing. The smell pulled multiple housemates out of their naps and into the kitchen to ask me when dinner would be ready.

After the sausage was browned, I accidentally skipped a step in the chaos of the moment. I added the two cans of crushed tomatoes when I should’ve added the white wine first. When I noticed, I poured the wine into the mass amount of tomatoes that sat in the pot.

Now, I felt like I was in the homestretch. I added salt, pepper and basil while stirring.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Little did I know, the sauce would keep me on my toes for the next hour. It went back and forth from looking like a sauce and being too oily. It didn’t help that my friends would stop by the stove to say that it looked weird or unappetizing.

When the sauce hit the 50-minute mark on the burner, I started the two pounds of rigatoni.

I had trust in the sauce to rebound, and my many taste testers supported that. It was equal parts tomato and spicy tasting in a way that would complement the pasta nicely.

When the time of reckoning came, the pasta was strained and the sauce was taken off the burner. I put half the sauce in a large pot, then the pasta quickly followed by the other half of the sauce.

Photo by Kasey Turman | The Miami Student
After boiling the pasta noodles and creating the sauce, the only thing left for Turman to do was to combine the two.

After some stirring, dinner was ready. The sausage was cut just enough to seep into the sauce while being visible on the plate. The sauce itself had a kick that no one expected but everyone enjoyed.

By the time I went back for seconds, there were less than 20 noodles left.