Learning to cook in Lombardy

Kitchen-shy Rob Crossan learns a new skill

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/10/spending-powe-2.html">Spending power: Pasta Hut, huh?</a>

Pizza Hut is being re-named Pasta Hut to give the business a healthy, modern makeover. Or is it?

Name change for Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut is changing its name in a bid to overhaul the company's image and menu, it announced today.

Spaghetti with sardines, chilli and tomatoes

Serves 4

Red mullet, samphire and bucatini salad

Serves 4

Cherie Blair: 'You can't please people who don't really know you'

The Deborah Ross Interview: As a mother, a barrister, a QC, a judge, a campaigner and the wife of a Prime Minister, Cherie Blair has proved herself in many different ways. So why have so many people still got it in for her?

You need a special credit card to eat at Vapiano - for the rare privilege of helping yourself to mulchy pasta

Vapiano, 19-21 Great Portland Street, London W1, tel: 020 7268 0080

Howard Jacobson: You can keep your good health and long life. Just give me back my pasta

Better to live a brief life without fear than live to 100 and afraid of every pea that rolls on to our plate

Spaghetti with bacon, mushrooms and Parmesan

Serves 4-6

Claire Beale's Best in Show: Pot Noodle (AKQA)

Once it was known as the "slag of all snacks". Now, for the princely sum of £29.95 you can buy a "Poulet et champignon" Pot Noodle in Harrods. All proceeds go to Action Against Hunger. It's the only reason I can possibly think of for eating the stuff. Well, that and a stunning new viral for the brand by AKQA.

Ravioli with potato, sage and cavalo nero

Serves 4

Spaghetti with cockles and three-cornered garlic

Serves 4

The Weasel: The ultimate boy's toy

Are you racking the noggin for an answer to the perennial problem of what to buy the man in your life for Christmas? Well, rack no longer. The object on the table before me will get the testosterone surging in any gent. The sleek shape of its motorhead owes somethin to Raymond Loewy’s streamlined design for the 1938 Broadway Limited loco. Its double row of cooling vents is like the radiator grill of an early John Deere tractor. Its raked motorhead support column suggests the soaring tailfin of a ’59 Caddy. In short, it is the ultimate boy’s toy.



Terence Blacker: Heaven help us if England wins the World Cup

What starts with an excessive fondness for the St George flag can easily tip into criminality
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
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Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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Marian Keyes

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Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

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Rodgers fights for his reputation

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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin's Last Word

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