I practically lived on this dish for more than months when I was writing my thesis last spring/summer. 14 weeks of spending 10-15 hours in the library (yes, it's open that long), 7 days a week. My whole organism ran solely on coffee, adrenalin (I have a tendency to stress the brain out of myself during exams, term papers and thesises) and this stuff: I like to call it the Hungry Student's pasta because it's very cheap, quite healthy, has a preparation time of 12 minutes at the most and all the ingredient are staples I always have on hand. Plus: you only need a knife, a chopping board, a teaspoon, a pot and a sieve, so there's little washing up to do.
It's basically a warm pasta salad, and the fact that I still like it after eating it almost every night for three and a half months really speaks for itself. I can't imagine ever getting sick of it. Ever.
Plus, you can vary it quite a bit just by switching the feta for some mozzarella. Personally, I like the feta version best because it adds this deliciously salty sort of sharp taste while the mozzarella basically tastes like nothing (and requires you to add a little salt for taste). The stringy, chewy quality of the melting mozzarella is very nice though.
The Hungry Student's Pasta
The amount of pasta your heart desires (whole wheat fusili for me, please)
125 g/1 cup feta or mozzarella
Half a tomato (or a small handful of cherry tomatoes)
1 tsp pesto (basil or olive)
Crema di balsamico
Freshly ground pepper
Fresh basil leaves (optional)
Cook the pasta according to packet instructions.
Chop the tomato, the cheese and the basil.
Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and put it into a bowl. Add tomatoes, cheese, basil, and pesto. Give it a healthy shower of crema di balsamico, season to taste with pepper (and salt if you used mozzarella). Give it a good stir and enjoy.