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The 20 best autumn recipes – our all-time favourites


The best of the best. Forgive our boldness but in the past months we have been doing a lot of searching through the OFM archives. Finding comfort in cooking. Looking through our library. And here we are. Twenty brilliant dishes, each perfect in their way, faultless, near timeless, the ones that will always work. And what a top 20. Some are favourite dishes from favourite restaurants, some old-school classics, some new, commissioned specially for this series. Others are from a few of our best-loved books and cookery writers. Look to the stellar list below. Every dish you will ever need for autumn. With love.

This quintessential autumn pudding is best made with foraged fruit – to make it even simpler, use good readymade pastry.

A genius, quick vegetarian recipe where cooking the pasta creates the sauce, too.

Anna Jones’s kale, tomato and lemon magic one-pot spaghetti.



Anna Jones’s kale, tomato and lemon magic one-pot spaghetti. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Observer

The nation’s favourite curry is rich and tomatoey with layers of spice – and is easy to make at home.

Madhur Jaffrey’s chicken tikka masala.



Madhur Jaffrey’s chicken tikka masala. Photograph: Jean Cazals

Make this hearty Ukrainian beetroot soup – with a twist – when cold autumn nights close in.

Papushka’s borscht by Olia Hercules.



Papushka’s borscht by Olia Hercules. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Observer

This signature dish from the authority on Italian cuisine shows that when it comes to risotto, simple shines.

Anna del Conte’s risotto with lemon.



Anna del Conte’s risotto with lemon. Photograph: Martin Poole/The Observer

A Turkish classic, and a perfect start to the day – spicy, satisfying and simple to put together.

Peter Gordon’s Turkish eggs.



Peter Gordon’s Turkish eggs. Photograph: Haarala Hamilton/The Observer

Crisp edge and a squishy centre, dotted with good chocolate – the ultimate cookies from the queen of baking.

Claire Ptak’s egg-yolk chocolate chip cookies.



Claire Ptak’s egg-yolk chocolate chip cookies. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

The definitive way to cook every family’s favourite – for best results, pair it with tagliatelle.

Marcella Hazan’s bolognese meat sauce.



Marcella Hazan’s bolognese meat sauce. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

Lush, ripe figs baked in wine and served with a crisp nut biscuit makes a simple but elegant finish to any meal.

Nigel Slater’s figs with pistachio biscuits.



Nigel Slater’s figs with pistachio biscuits. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin/The Observer

Hot, squishy, moreish – the best cheese toastie might just be Italian.

Mozzarella in carozza by Blanche Vaughan.



Mozzarella in carozza by Blanche Vaughan. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

A favourite for so many people, here’s how to make the classic roast perfect every time.

Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham’s roast chicken.



Simon Hopkinson and Lindsey Bareham’s roast chicken. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

This classic dish from the Sichuan repertoire showcases the cuisine’s complex flavours and, despite its name, is vegan.

Fuchsia Dunlop’s fish-fragrant aubergines.



Fuchsia Dunlop’s fish-fragrant aubergines. Photograph: Martin Poole/The Observer

A vegetarian lentil recipe, full of rich and earthy flavours, that gets better the longer you give it.

Meera Sodha’s black dal makhani.



Meera Sodha’s black dal makhani. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

Often imitated but never bettered, this deceptively simple flourless cake gets its unique moist texture from boiled citrus and ground nuts.

Claudia Roden’s orange and almond cake.



Claudia Roden’s orange and almond cake. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

A vegetarian dinner that’s creamy and comforting, with layers of fresh and warm flavours.

Simon Hopkinson’s new tomato curry.



Simon Hopkinson’s new tomato curry. Photograph: Jason Lowe

Sweetly pickled beetroots and bitey horseradish are tied together with a creamy, mustardy dressing in this autumnal salad.

Beetroot, soft-boiled egg and horseradish by Jeremy Lee.



Beetroot, soft-boiled egg and horseradish by Jeremy Lee. Photograph: Jean Cazals/The Observer

For light beer batter and the crispest chips, forget the chippie and make the Friday night classic at home.

Fish and chips and minted mushy peas by Tim Hughes.



Fish and chips and minted mushy peas by Tim Hughes. Photograph: Howard Sooley

It’s not hard to master this essential Spanish recipe – you just need good eggs, good potatoes and a little patience.

Classic tortilla by Nieves Barragán Mohacho.



Classic tortilla by Nieves Barragán Mohacho. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

Found all over west Africa, this version of the one-pot rice recipe is by a super-chef from New York (via Sweden and Ethiopia).

Chicken jollof rice by Marcus Samuelsson.



Chicken jollof rice by Marcus Samuelsson. Photograph: Romas Foord/The Observer

An easy, thrifty and vegetarian dinner that’s more than the sum of its parts.

Chickpeas, swiss chard and soft-poached egg by Florence Knight.



Chickpeas, swiss chard and soft-poached egg by Florence Knight. Photograph: Jason Lowe/jason Lowe



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