Care.Connection.Community with Linda Recine

April 19, 2020

A message from Linda Recine

Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing, stands at the podium and announces the winners of Campus Dining's annual Tiger Chef Challenge. April 2018.
Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing, announces the winners of Campus Dining's annual Tiger Chef Challenge. April 2018

Although temporary, the new norm is remote working. The new norm is social distancing. And the new norm is a takeout style of meals in our dining halls. However, there is one constant and that is the level of service everyone in Campus Dining is providing on the front line. The drive and commitment from my colleagues on campus, and from my co-workers in Procurement, remain undaunted.

For my role in Procurement, frontline support comes from steadfast manufacturers, farmers, and vendor partners. We are in communication with our suppliers for updates on the situation at hand. With daily check-ins, the conversation surrounds product availability, delivery challenges, shipping concerns, and verifying there are no interruptions to the supply chain. This information is vital as we continue to look at pandemic menu planning with our chefs and management team. Special thanks to Mike, Raysa, and Kathleen for continuing to forge ahead through remote working, zoom meetings, and continuous phone calls.

To our students, we miss you on campus and we commend your spirit to keep moving forward. To our front line teams at Butler/First, Graduate College, and Frist, we applaud your courage and commitment to service.


Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing, sits on the stairs and works behind the scenes, reviewing the day's schedule during Campus Dining's annual Tiger Chef Challenge. April 2018.
Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing, reviews the schedule during Campus Dining's annual Tiger Chef Challenge. April 2018

For me, cooking is a therapy. Be it a basic weeknight meal to a large scale catered event to a family holiday buffet, it is all about the cooking. At home or at work, we share our passion and our drive through food. During these unprecedented times, creativity comes into play in our kitchens. We are finding ways to repurpose leftovers and utilize what we have in our refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

With continued grocery store restrictions, one of my go to “pantry pulls” is Penne with Vegetables. Pairing with a grilled chicken breast or piece of fish makes an amazing side dish. In addition, this simple but satisfying recipe can certainly stand alone as an entrée by adding extra beans for a good source of protein. 

Please enjoy! Mangiare!

-Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing


Pasta with Spinach, Tomato and Garbanzo Beans
From Linda Recine, Assistant Director, Purchasing

Serves 4

  • ½ lb. penne or any short cut pasta
  • 1-container fresh spinach, 5 oz. (frozen is a good sub)
  • 1-container grape tomatoes (canned diced tomatoes are fine, use 15 oz.)
  • 1-can garbanzo beans or any bean you have in your pantry, 15 oz.
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ¼ cup white wine (if you do not wish to use wine, add more broth)
  • ¼ to ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ½ tsp. pepperoncini (dried red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Garlic, fresh or powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley

Pasta with Spinach, Tomato and Garbanzo Beans.
Pasta with Spinach, Tomato and Garbanzo Beans.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil in pan, add pepperoncini and garlic powder.
Add spinach and sauté until wilted.
Add tomatoes and cook until softened.
Toss in beans, return pan to simmer.
Add white wine and reduce by half. Add broth reduce by half.
Meanwhile bring a large stockpot bring water to a boil. Add salt, add pasta and cook according to package directions.
Add your cooked pasta to the skillet, saving pasta water!
Mix until heated through, salt and pepper to taste (at this point, you can just add pepper as the cheese is naturally salty).
Fold in grated cheese. If not enough liquid, add pasta water in small amounts until sauce is the right consistency.
Portion servings into bowls, top with fresh parsley (or dried) and additional cheese if desired. Lots and lots of cheese!



A message to our community

As we acclimate to the new ways on campus, I realize so much has changed in just a few days. Some of the things that gave me the most joy, such as meeting with our students, talking with you during special events, or meeting my colleagues can no longer happen in the same way, at least for the time being. Along with my team, I wanted to think of ways to keep our connections alive, continue to show our care, and engage with our community. That being said, we are starting a new series called, Care.Connection.Community through which we will share messages with you.

Stay healthy and be well,
[email protected]