Comfort food cooking: your kitchen essentials

Comfort food equals soul food

As the chilly weather kicks in, we turn to comfort food to warm ourselves up. What could be better than tucking into something hearty on a cold evening? Whether you're craving a burger, curry or big helping of cheesy pasta, now’s the time to upgrade your kitchen kit so you’re all set to satisfy those cravings. 

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Classic Italian dishes

Carb-loading is the perfect prescription for cold weather. Do as the Italians do and slurp up satisfying pasta ribbons drenched in Grana Padano cheese, smooth carbonara egg sauce and crispy bits of pancetta. And the only way to serve it? In an oversized pasta bowl (snuggled up on the sofa, preferably). Bella! Our pick: set of 4 Denby Elements pasta bowls, £40, Next

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French favourites

Say bonjour to your new winter-freeze saviour and embrace the finest slow-cooked French food. We’re talking a tender boeuf bourguignon stew that’s been cooking for hours in a rich braise of thickened wine, stock and aromatics. And what better way to let it simmer (and then serve up) than in this super-stylish Le Creuset casserole dish. Our pick: Le Creuset Marseille blue cast iron Signature 20cm round casserole, £175, Debenhams

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Traditional Sunday roast

Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Hit the cosy jackpot with the ultimate comforting weekend dish: roast chicken with all the trimmings (hello, crispy roast potatoes and tender-sweet root veg). Take the stress out of the Sunday roast by use a large, deep roasting tray to cook everything together. We like this stylish stainless steel one from M&S.     Our pick: Chef try ply textured roaster, £55, M&S

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All-American burger

One look at a juicy cheeseburger and it just screams comfort. A juicy prime beef patty on a cheese bun? Say no more. Give in to that all-American goodness and prepare to roll your eyes back in bliss. If you want to take your burger game to the next level, invest in a good quality griddle pan (and learn how to get flipping). Our pick: Cast iron griddle pan, £35, M&S

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Hearty veggie dishes

Vegetarians and vegans, rejoice! Don’t think we’ve forgotten about you. Comfort food can be just as comforting if not more without the meat. Get stuck into Asian and Caribbean vegetable curries that are bursting with fiery and punchy flavours. Whip up the base to your very own tongue-tingling curry paste using a granite pestle and mortar. Our pick: Cole & Mason 14cm granite pestle & mortar, £30, Debenhams