UndergraduEats: Silvia Bus

photo: Jana Tauschinski

1 student, 3 recipes. Each student will share their three favourite recipes from home. One midweek meal – with a maximum of five ingredients. One potluck perfect – to bring along to any dinner you’ve got planned. One sweet treat – to satisfy your cravings.

Silvia is a management student in her final year at St Andrews. Originally from Carrara, in the north of Italy, she grew up in Luxembourg before moving to Scotland for uni. For the past three years she has helped run Re:Fashion, a bi-annual fashion sales event in town which has grown from time to time. Silvia’s a keen volleyball player, an avid enthusiast for all things fashion and a lover of trap music – if you spot someone getting a bit too excited on the rare occasion that some ASAP Rocky is being played on a night out, it’s probably her…

Throughout her third year she worked at Rocca, the Italian deli on Bell Street, where she was able to pick up some key Italian ingredients that you just can’t find on Tesco’s shelves.

“I love classic, simple dishes. Sometimes as few as three or four ingredients are enough to make a great meal.” One thing she can’t go without? “Good olive oil… I always bring some back from home and it makes all the difference.”

Why not taste some Italian summer flavours this week, by making one of Silvia’s three mouth-watering dishes:

Midweek Meal – Pasta al Tonno

“This is my family’s go-to summer meal. It’s perfect because it’s super quick and easy to make – we’ve always got everything for it in the cupboard.”

For 4 people:

500g pasta, preferably penne

2 tins of tuna in olive oil

2– 3 tbsp capers

zest of one lemon

good quality olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Total: £4-5.50, approx.. £1 per person

Time: 12 minutes

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a generous pinch of salt, and cook pasta to package instructions. In a pan gently heat a good glug of olive oil and add the tuna and capers. Stir occasionally until heated through (roughly 2 minutes). Add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to the pan, before draining the pasta and also adding it to the pan. Stir through the lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Plate it up and that’s it! Super quick, super easy, super tasty!


Potluck Perfect –  Torta ricotta e spinaci

“I love bringing this dish to dinners as it’s so easy to make it ahead of time. Its also great if you make it at the beginning of the week and then have it for lunch.”

Makes one tart/8 generous slices:

2 rolls of puff pastry

900g frozen leaf spinach

125g ricotta

2 eggs

80g (/generous handful of) grated parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

Total: £5-6.50, approx.. £0.75 per slice

Time: 15 minutes hands on, 45 min baking

Preheat your oven to 180°C. In a large pan, heat the spinach through until fully defrosted and wilted. While you wait, shape one of the puff pastry rolls into the bottom of a springform baking tin, patching any excess up at the sides. Drain the spinach of any excess liquid and put in a bowl with the ricotta. Combine, and stir in the two eggs, one at a time. Add the parmesan, season with salt and pepper. Transfer the spinach mixture into the lined baking tin, and seal the tart with the second roll of puff pastry. Bake for 45 min to one hour, until pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Great to make ahead and enjoy later!

Sweet Treat – Tiramisu

“My younger brother is obsessed with tiramisu. Whatever restaurant we go to, he’ll almost always order pizza margarita and then get tiramisu for dessert. So, he’s tried a whole lot of it and can give you a pretty accurate run down of the best tiramisu around Italy… The one we make at home, always makes his top three…”

Serves 10-12:

500g mascarpone

5 eggs

150-200g sugar, to taste

1-2 cups of strong coffee, espresso

pack of lady finger biscuits, savoiardi

cocoa powder for dusting


Time: 25 minutes

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Whisk the whites to stiff peaks and leave to cool in the fridge. Cream together the yolks with 150g of sugar until pale and silky in consistency. Add the mascarpone to the yolks and mix until smooth. Brew the coffee and pour into a shallow bowl. Briefly soak each lady finger biscuit in the coffee and arrange in the base of a deep dish (min. 10 cm). Alternate layers of biscuit and mascarpone cream until you have used up the cream, ending on a layer of cream. Dust with cocoa powder and chill until serving.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.