From comforting lasagnes to storecupboard bakes, fakeaway curries to soothing bowls of noodles, these 20 recipes from our star authors are the dishes you turned to most to help you cook your way through a year like no other.
Possibly one of the most enticing recipes in Ottolenghi's latest cookbook, this mushroom lasagne is filled with a complex, earthy ragù, made with umami porcini and meaty oyster mushrooms and enriched with cream. The ragù itself can easily be made vegan if you lose the cream, or served on its own with pasta or polenta. Layered up between sheets of pasta with both Pecorino Romano and Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley, and baked until bubbling, this is a vegetarian lasagne to feed a crowd.
From the book
A guide to unlocking the complex flavour in simple vegetables
With a focus on creative cooking processes and clever ingredient pairing
Including recipes for everything from midweek meals to weekend feasts
This is a hugely popular national dish in Palestine, best eaten with your hands. Spiced roasted chicken is piled onto flatbreads with delicious chicken juices and softened onions, pine nuts and olive oil. Use your hands to tear apart the bread, scoop up some tender morsels of chicken and eat it all in one bite.
“This is one of our favourite dishes; it is lightly spiced, comforting, rich with coconut and it certainly leaves an impression”, say the Rangoon sisters of this Burmese family favourite. Serve this rich turmeric and coconut chicken curry with noodles, chilli oil, shallots and plenty of lime wedges.
This typical Sardinian dish is made with sausage, tomato fennel and plenty of the classic Sardinian cheese; pecorino. Toss the sauce through pasta with more pecorino grated on top for a comforting dinner.
Salmon, vegetables and spicy coconut Thai-inspired sauce are all cooked together in one roasting tin in the oven, making this a really simple midweek dinner recipe that's full of flavour.
This simple pie not only has a mash topping, but a mash base too. Filled with a creamy sausage, leek and apple filling, this is a great dish to make when you've got an excess of spuds and a pack of sausages that need using.
Slices of aubergine are roasted and stuffed with lime and mango-spiked paneer in this recipe, then rolled and baked in a spiced coconut dal, fragrant with curry leaves. You can even make the dal on its own, but we recommend going for the full dish for a crowd-pleasing weekend dinner.
This vegan version of a lasagne takes away the faff of layering the different elements as it's made all in one pot. Break up the lasagne sheets and add them to the pan at random, tucking them in and under the sauce for a lazy lasagne that you can make midweek.
This is a simple one-pot dish that is as forgiving as it is versatile. “It's not in the spirit of things to be utterly specific with this kind of cooking”, says Nigella. Swap orzo for rice, barley or small pasta shapes if you like or dried tarragon for thyme. Either way, this will quickly become a family favourite.
With saffron rice, chicken, peppers and chorizo, this cheat's paella is cooked in the oven and requires no stirring for a hands-off fast track to your favourite Spanish dinner. The flavour only improves overnight in the fridge, says Rukmini, so be sure to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
“My mother, who rolls her eyes every time I offer a vegetarian alternative, had to text me after the Paloma Faith podcast to admit that ‘the bolognese was delicious, darling’”, says Jessie Ware of this tasty vegan alternative to spag bol. With Medjool dates, lentils, tomatoes, wine, stock and oregano, this is a rich and satisfying dinner.
Aubergines are cooked on a bed of fresh basmati rice and cabbage for a simple, filling all-in-one traybake. What makes this is the spicy Korean-inspired dressing, made with gochugaru. These Korean red pepper flakes are readily available online or at specialist shops and well worth hunting around for. “Once you have a jar, you’ll find yourself scattering the flakes on everything (scrambled eggs are my favourite)”, says Rukmini.
Looking for a healthier Japanese takeaway this weekend? This take on a classic Japanese dish consists of crispy coated chicken with a mildly spicy curry sauce, and it's delicious.
This genius quiche recipe from Nadiya's latest cookbook is all about the base. Here, Nadiya grates different colour potatoes and presses them into the tin for a rosti-style base, filled with a creamy cheese and chive mixture. “Delicious and also super simple”, says Nadiya.
Creamy, cheesy pasta served with crispy garlicky breadcrumbs for extra texture, this is a brilliant storecupboard dinner celebrating the humble cauliflower.
This triple chocolate brownie contains a layer of salted, dulce de leche-coated nuts, and is topped with a zesty cheesecake mixture before it's baked again. Yes, you read that right.
If you haven't spotted Melissa's storecupboard cookies on your Instagram feed, where have you been? These simple biscuits are incredibly moreish and are great for clearing out the odds and ends in your baking cupboards. The dough freezes well too, so double up and save half for another time.
This is a cross-generational favourite, according to Mary Berry, whose grandchildren love this delicious, old-fashioned cake. Beautifully sticky but light in texture and not too dense, it's a hit for the whole family.
“A warm, soft and squidgy cake, it is both embracingly cosy and almost regally sumptuous”, says Nigella who has fully embraced the dream trio of chocolate, banana and tahini in this gooey pudding. Serve with tahini-whipped cream and date molasses. Oh yes.
These indulgent dessert bars follow a similar principle to brownies, baked in a tin and removed from the oven when they're still slightly undercooked in the middle. Perfect with an afternoon cuppa.
Here's to the recipes 2021 will bring…