Here is a list of ingredients that I think are pantry essentials. Chances are that if you have a few of these ingredients you can pull together dinner.
And here are a few things I like to keep in my fridge/freezer:
Here are a few meals that you could make using these ingredients:
Breaded Chicken Breasts stuffed with Spinach and Parmesan
Spaghetti alla Rustica
Alfredo Pasta (with milk instead of cream)