This is my favorite self-made recipe. Pasta is super cheap so always have tons to live off of when I go broke. You can even skip the onion if all you have is pasta and the basics.
1 serving of pasta (I use vermicelli and it's usually 1/4 of the box)
1/4-1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 tsp of garlic
red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste
(makes 1 serving)
Cook the pasta until it's al dente. While the pasta is cooking, saute the onions and garlic in some cooking oil and about a tsp of butter, until the onions are mostly translucent. Before the onions are done, add your red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. When the pasta is cooked, drain it, and then add it to the saute pan. Keep the heat on low and stir it all together. Add more oil if the texture is too dry. Top with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!
My cousin Jessi who is also a great cook (see her recipe for Guacamole) recently sent me a recipe similar to this one, knowing how broke I am. I might add that tuna is another cheap meal. Her addition is:
1 can tuna (preferably in oil, but water is okay)
sml pkg grape tomatoes (cut in half. diced regular tomatoes works too)
After the garlic and onion is cooked, she ads the drained can of tuna to the saute pan. (If tuna is in oil, leaving some oil in is good for flavor. If tuna is in water, it should be drained as much as possible.) Then break up large chunks of tuna and continue heating and occasionally stirring. She tops the meal with grape tomatoes and sharp cheddar cheese.