One of the most used wedding gifts I got (besides our dishes, I guess), is this great cookbook called How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. (I'd add a link here if my computer would let me paste the amazon page. Sadly, it's not to be.) Almost any recipe I'd like to know how to make is in here. Dinner Rolls? check. Guacamole? Double Check. Pad thai? Yes, even that. My husband even enjoys reading it. The beginning of each section has an informative part that talks about basics of whatever section you are in. Many recipes also contain variations at the end, so it is a good way to learn how to modify recipes based on what you like or have in your kitchen.
One of our favorite recipes in here is quite simple, but very tasty. It's called Onion pasta with linguine. Basically, you cut up 5 or 6 onions in thin slices. Then put them in a warm, dry skillet. Cook them, stirring often, and they will slowly give up their liquid and begin to turn brown. This takes 20-30 minutes. When they start to stick to the pan, add 1/3c. olive oil (I've used less here if you want to make it a little lighter). Then add plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
While the onions are cooking, put water on to boil and add your favorite pasta. I've started using whole wheat pasta because it's a little healthier..
When pasta is done and the onions are all brown and sweet, mix together and add some parmesan cheese.
It does take a while to cook the onions, but you can always do some house work or something while they cook. (That's what I did when I made this a few nights ago.) And it's a nice change from the normal pasta with red sauce, but is exceedingly simple and pretty cheap. Add a nice salad maybe made with some spinach and you have a great, healthy meal!
Head over to Shannon's for other tips.