There's a reason why pasta is the world's favourite dish. It's a comfort dish, always there when you need it, easy to whip up on a weeknight; but with a bit more effort it can be elevated to something spectacular. Outside Italy we've moved on a long way from the days when pasta meant spaghetti only – maybe lasagne if you're feeling fancy – but there are an estimated 350 shapes of it in Italy, and cooking it properly is an artform. We've assembled the collective knowledge of some of the country's pasta experts – read on and you'll find out exactly when to use tagliatelle or taglierini, and how to ensure every bowl you make would make mamma proud.

The Michelin-starred chef: Nadia Santini

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The pasta granny: Maria Coppi

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The Masterchef winner: Luca Manfe

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The pasta scientist: Dario Bressanini

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