Instead of venturing Downtown for delicious, photo-worthy rigatoni alla vodka, you can make this Lost Dog Cafe staple at home.

With winter right around the corner, leaving campus and going to Downtown Binghamton for dinner is about to get much more difficult. But don’t let staying inside stop you from enjoying the food you know and love. Impress your friends with Pipe Dream’s do-it-yourself takes on your favorite recipes from local restaurants.

Rigatoni alla Vodka

A signature dish at the Lost Dog Cafe, rigatoni alla vodka is relatively easy to prepare and tough to mess up. Whip up this local favorite at home for a simple yet delicious dinner.

— 1 pound of rigatoni pasta

— one to two chicken breasts, cut into small cubes

— rosemary, garlic powder and black pepper, for seasoning

— vodka sauce (either make from the following recipe or use a store-bought sauce)

— Parmesan, for serving

Homemade Vodka Sauce

— 1 cup vodka (if you’re not old enough to buy alcohol, use a store-bought sauce)

— one can of tomato sauce

— one small onion, diced

— two to three cloves of garlic, diced

— 1 cup of cream

— 2 ½ tablespoons butter

— 3 tablespoons of olive oil

— Cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper of serving

1. Prep the pasta as instructed on the box. If you’re using a store-bought sauce, skip to step 5.

2. Cook the garlic, onions, olive oil and butter in the saucepan together for two to three minutes on medium heat.

3. Pour in tomato sauce, stir until mixed, then reduce the heat to low.

4. Pour in cream, vodka and cayenne. Stir for about seven minutes to let the alcohol cook off.

5. In a frying pan, fry the diced chicken breast in olive oil over medium heat for five to 10 minutes. Add rosemary, garlic and black pepper to taste.

6. Mix the diced chicken with your sauce, then pour over your pasta and stir.

adapted from

Cauliflower Quesadilla

The Garage’s vegetarian option offers a healthy yet equally tasty alternative to meat-heavy dishes: fried cauliflower. Take your quesadillas to the next level with this lighter spin.

— two bell peppers

— one small head of cauliflower, cut into small chunks

— 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for quesadilla prep

— one packet Sazón seasoning

— Adobo, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper, to taste

— three scallions, sliced

— Juice of one lime

— Chipotle mayo

— 2 cups of your favorite cheese

— 12 small flour tortillas, for six servings

1. Hold peppers over a gas burner turned to high and char until black, or cook in a frying pan until soft. Place them in a bowl covered tightly with foil and set them aside while you prepare the cauliflower and filling.

2. Toss cauliflower with olive oil, Sazón, adobo, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan over high heat, then add cauliflower and let it cook until each piece has brown spots. This should take about 10 minutes.

3. Once the charred peppers have cooled down, peel the skin off and cut out stems and seed clusters. Chop the peppers and cauliflower chunks, then combine.

4. Place the cauliflower and peppers in a large bowl, and add scallions, lime juice and salt to taste. This should give you about two cups of filling.

5. Spread chipotle mayo, 1/3 of a cup of cauliflower filling and 1/3 of a cup of cheese over six tortillas. Use another six tortillas as lids, heating on a skillet over medium heat with a light coating of olive oil. Cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are browned, which should take about three to four minutes.

6. Cut quesadillas and serve with your choice of fixings.

adapted from

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