Living in someone else's house where you're scared to use any of the food in their pantry because you're not sure if they're the kind of person that knows exactly what they had before they went to Hawaii or not really forces you to go back to the essentials of a kitchen. It's astounding how simple things get when you're not in your element. The other night I made one of my very favorite basic meals: pasta + veggies with lots of parm cheese on top.
Now, this isn't so much a recipe as it is just tossing stuff in boiling water free form.
Step one: gather the things you either have leftover or bought that day at the store. In my case it happened to be spinach, broccoli, whole wheat spaghetti & unshelled edemame (apparently mukimame - who knew?).
I also love using asparagus & peas if I have them too. And you can use any pasta you want, rotini, egg noodles, whatever!
To make my pasta I tossed the whole box in a pot of boiling water and a few minutes before it was done I tossed in the broccoli so it would cook to al dente. While the pasta cooked I steamed the edemame in the microwave and also sauteed the spinach in some olive oil with garlic salt on top (because I forgot to get whole garlic at the store...).
When the pasta & broccoli are done and I've drained them (in the weirdest strainer I've had to use...) I toss it all together in a pot. I squeeze from fresh lemon on top, add some pepper and then just dump parmesan cheese on top. Enjoy!