Recipes for the Graduate and Other Beginning Cooks

Yesterday we showed you our graduation gift ideas for the kitchen, and on many of our ideas we noted "include your favorite recipe." So today we're showing you our favorite recipes for the graduate, or really, for any beginning cook.

These are the simple recipes that will give someone confidence and encourage them to keep cooking.

Easy pasta should be at the center of any beginning cook's menus. We've just given you our Italian cooking without a recipe template of pasta, meat, greens and cheese. You might also try our Ridiculously Quick Pasta al Pomodoro

• Many soups are super easy to make, and far tastier than their canned counterparts. We'd recommend our Quick and Easy Black Bean Soup recipe.

• Every meat-eating cook should know how to roast a chicken. We'd also give beginning cooks this easy turkey tortilla soup recipe, which can be made with turkey or chicken, as a way to use up the leftovers.

• To go with that chicken, nothing could be easier than Rosemary roast potatoes.

Mac n' Cheese is a popular college food, but usually comes from a blue box of processed powder. Show them how to beat the blue box, with Alton Brown's easy and delicious stove-top macaroni and cheese.

• We love to show beginning cooks how easy bread can be. We learned to make bread with Laurie Colwin's Brown Bread recipe, from a chapter entitled "Bread Baking without Agony" in her book, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen, where she espouses a totally relaxed attitude. But many former non-bread-bakers have learned to get over the intimidation factor through the no-knead bread phenomenon or our adaptation, no-knead bread in a hurry

What do you recommend to beginning cooks?

Image: Dalboz17 licensed under Creative Commons