Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry provides plenty of meal possibilities!


Connor McPherson

Pasta is just one of many dishes that can be made using items from the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry.

Chico State students run into many obstacles when leaving home and going to school for the first time. Being away from your family can be hard on its own. It’s made tougher when you have to pay rent, bills, food and anything else you need.

Chico State does have programs to help, including the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry. This service is located outside the Student Services Center, across from the Bell Memorial Union. The pantry provides free food for every student at Chico State to help make some tasty meals.

I personally have used the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry when I was between jobs, and I vouch for its variety of canned foods, fruits and more. I don’t really know how to cook, so I decided to get some help from a professional chef and The Orion’s Food and News Section Editor, Ian Hilton.

After brainstorming ideas, we decided to prepare a pasta dish using mostly ingredients that can be found in the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry. The meal fed me and my two roommates, while leaving plenty of leftovers. Here’s how to make it!

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 1 hour


Sauce pot, Stock pot

Can opener

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Frying pan

Large spoon (for mixing)

Cheese grater (optional)


1 tbsp olive oil

10 Shishito peppers

½ onion

5 cloves garlic

2 cans tomato sauce

½ can tomato paste

1 can green beans

1 medium-sized bag of pasta


Cheese (optional)

Bacon (optional)

Pepper (optional)

These are the ingredients needed to make this pasta dish.
Connor McPherson


First, get your veggies prepped. Take the tops off the peppers and de-seed them, then cut into ½ inch pieces. This is done by cutting vertically from top to bottom, then taking out the seeds by hand.

Next, dice half of an onion and anywhere from three to five cloves of garlic, depending on your taste buds. If you’d like to add cheese to your sauce, now is a good time to shred it.

Around this time, open up the can of green beans and drain. Toss them in a frying pan to heat them up over the stove.

Next, start making your sauce. Heat the sauce pot on medium and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then, add the peppers and onion, as well as salt and pepper if you so choose.

Once the onion becomes translucent, it’s time to add the garlic. After about a minute of stirring, open up two cans of tomato sauce and one of tomato paste.

Pour in both cans of tomato sauce and stir with the veggies. Once that mixture is hot, add half of the tomato paste and mix well. After about five minutes, cover and turn down the heat to let it simmer.

If you’d like, add some cheese onto the top of the sauce and let it soften for about five minutes. Once it’s mostly melted, mix it into the sauce.

The sauce is heating up on the stove.
Connor McPherson

Fill a pot with water and put it on medium-high heat. Once it starts to heat up, add some salt and throw in the pasta. Once the water boils, add the pasta. Bring back to a boil and drop the heat down to medium, letting the pasta cook for seven minutes. Use a fork to grab a piece of pasta and taste it. If it feels too hard, let it cook longer. Keep checking on it until the pasta tastes right, a minute at a time.

Once that’s ready, it’s time to serve the food! Grab a plate of pasta, pour the sauce over and sprinkle on some bacon bits and excess cheese if you want, and enjoy! It goes well with garlic bread, and you can have your green beans on the side.

There are plenty more meals that can be made using ingredients from the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry, which is why it’s important to take advantage of this resource while you can. Head over to The Orion’s food section for more recipe ideas.

Connor McPherson and Ian Hilton can be reached at [email protected] or  @theGOATmcphers1 on Twitter.