As a college student who goes grocery shopping only intermittently, I often end up with dozens of odds and ends of miscellaneous condiments and jars, but few choices for cookable food. My favorite fallback recipe is simple spaghetti: a box of noodles and a jar of sauce, combined in the pot (post-noodle-cooking, of course), lasts several days and costs about $1.50. This creation cannot properly be called cooking, but variations are easy to make and often result in real food. Here is my most recent version, which I hereby dub
Creamy Tomato-Basil Spaghetti
I have left the quantities vague on purpose. As with any recipe which revolves around two or three ingredients and requires cupboard-scavenging for the remainder, you should feel free to omit or change things at will.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. At the same time, slice the onion(s) thinly and cut in half. Saute in the bottom of a saucepan with a little olive oil or butter. Chop garlic coarsely and add to onions when almost ready (garlic burns easily). When onions are soft and almost clear, turn down the heat and add lots of basil and any other good-smelling things you can find, along with a big splash of cream. The amount doesn't really matter, but you should probably use half a cup or more. When the cream is hot but not boiling, add lots of parmesan and stir until completely melted. Stir in the jar of sauce until everything is a questionable orange-pink color. Serve over pasta with plenty of red and black pepper and maybe some toast.