Classic basil pesto
When it comes to making pesto, you can't go wrong with a pestle and mortar. You could make it in a food processor, but you just won't get the same flavours as when you're pounding and crushing all that lovely basil by hand.
Classic tomato spaghetti
What's great about this recipe for beginner cooks is that once you've done it a few times you can add other simple ingredients to your basic tomato sauce to completely transform it.
Perfect puttanesca sauce
This recipe is an evolution of the Simple tomato sauce recipe – adding olives, anchovies, capers, and tuna really ramps up the flavour and transforms it into a punchy puttanseca sauce, which is delicious tossed through pasta. Leave the anchovies and tuna out and replace with an extra teaspoon of capers for a veggie version.
This super-tasty pasta dish hasn’t really got a sauce of any description because all the flavour that comes out of the ingredients will stick to the pasta and that’s enough. Remember to buy the best sausages you can afford – if you get cheap, dodgy sausages it just won’t work.
Spicy arrabbiata sauce
This is an evolution of the Simple tomato sauce recipe – adding a few chillies to the sauce while it cooks adds a lovely hum of heat. Adjust the amount of chillies you use or add back into the sauce, depending on how spicy you like it.
This is one of the all-time classics from Genoa in Italy. You can use shop-bought pesto if you're pushed for time, but it's really worth using the pesto recipe on the site
Baked pasta with classic tomato sauce
This is the perfect family meal. Just remember not to overcook the pasta – it’s going to carry on cooking in the oven so it’s best to undercook it a tiny bit.
Butternut squash and sweet leek lasagne
Butternut squash and leeks make a lovely veggie filling for lasagne, and to be honest, this one is so delicious meat eaters will love it too.
Chicken & spinach cannelloni
One of the kings of comfort food has to be a hot, delicious, bubbling cannelloni, and this recipe is doing exactly what cannelloni was designed to do, which is to use up leftovers in a clear and concise way that costs very little and looks and tastes absolutely incredible – you’re going to love this one.
Delicious tuna pasta bake
You can’t beat an old-school tuna pasta bake – the contrasting crispy top and hidden oozier layers make it super-delicious, plus the pops of salty tuna and olives give it a real hit of flavour.
Delicious vegetable pasta bake
Courgettes and aubergines are brilliant at sucking up lovely flavour from the sauce, which makes this classic pasta bake the perfect combination of crisp and soggy. Give it a go!
The secret to a really tasty meat lasagne lies in the effort you put into the Bolognese sauce – get that right and you’ll be laughing.
Mothership mince ravioli
Filled pasta is a brilliant thing to learn - once you’ve mastered this old-school combo, why not try filling your pasta with spinach and ricotta, or roasted squash to take it in another direction.
© David Loftus