I'm a pasta fiend; an oversized bowl is my first choice for a quick and satisfying supper whatever the season, but my sauce rarely runs to much more than a few storecupboard staples - garlic, anchovies, chilli flakes and breadcrumbs, if I'm lucky.
This week, you've shown me up as a lazy cook; but as contributor Heasgarnich observes, pasta doesn't have to be all about the lovingly slow-cooked bolognese, either; there's a middle ground of light, fresh sauces, often vegetable-based, which hit the spot much better at this time of year.
I loved Simon Rangoonanan's take on an old favourite, spaghetti alle vongole, which always makes me feel like I'm on holiday, and neonskater's zesty lemon pasta, which may well be a new favourite, but it was pilgrimskitchentales' simple Sicilian pesto that scored top marks.
Made without cheese, but with walnuts and fresh tomatoes, it's a fresh take on a classic, and ideal for any Sicilian weather that might come our way. Best of all, as far as I'm concerned, you can knock it up in 10 minutes. Lazy and tasty; the perfect combination.
Pesto alla trapanese
We first discovered this pasta dish in Sicily, where it's typically made with almonds, but our trapani pesto was made with walnuts. No cooking is required, apart from boiling the pasta, as just a handful of ingredients are combined in this fresh, light sauce. Our Sicilian cook passed on a handy tip - grate the tomatoes. It is a quick way of removing the skins.
pilgrimskitchentales via GuardianWitness
4 ripe tomatoes
A handful of basil
2 garlic cloves
60g walnuts, roughly chopped
Olive oil, to taste
200g pasta, cooked
1 Coarsely grate the tomatoes over a bowl. Blitz the basil and garlic together in a processor then add the tomatoes, chopped nuts and a glug or two of olive oil, season and blitz again briefly - this is not a smooth pesto, lumps are good.
2 Stir through hot or cold penne or similar cooked pasta.
Tagliolini al limone
A zesty, piquant dish that announces the arrival of summer. Best enjoyed in the garden with dry white wine.
neonskater via GuardianWitness
50g unsalted butter, plus a little extra
1 shallot, finely chopped
100ml white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Flesh of 1 lemon, finely chopped
150ml double cream
350g tagliolini or tagliatelle
Zest of 2 unwaxed lemons
Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and put a pan of salted water on to boil, for the pasta. Sweat the shallot gently in the butter for 3-4 minutes, then increase the heat, add the wine and simmer until reduced by half.
2 Add the lemon juice and flesh, then cook slowly for 3-4 minutes. Add the cream and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste.
3 Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to packet directions, then drain and mix well into the sauce.
4 Put into an ovenproof dish, top with a few small knobs of butter and the lemon zest, then bake for 7-8 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.
Pasta with caponata and watercress pesto
Caponata is a summery Italian ratatouille, but without the heaviness of the French dish, which comes from using tomatoes. It's great with pasta. Topped with the fresh peppery pesto, this a perfect summer dish.
worththesalt.co.uk via GuardianWitness
For the caponata
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 onion, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1 courgette, diced
1 medium aubergine, diced
1 tbsp capers
12 black olives, destoned, finely chopped
½ tsp sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp chopped parsley
For the pesto
100ml extra virgin olive oil
½ clove of garlic
20g parmesan, grated
1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp lemon juice
300g dried pasta
1 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Sweat the fennel seeds, garlic, onion and celery. Just before they begin to brown, add the diced courgette and aubergine, then continue to fry for 5 minutes or so.
2 Add the capers, chopped olives, sugar and vinegar. Turn the heat up a little to cook out the vinegar for a minute, then reduce the heat, add the parsley and season to taste. (You can put the pan to one side at this point and heat it up later when the pasta is cooked.)
3 Blend all the ingredients for the pesto in a food processor, or pestle and mortar, or use a hand blender to make a nice smooth sauce. Season to taste.
4 Cook the pasta for 9-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and stir together with the reheated caponata. Top with pesto and lots of parmesan and olive oil.
Creamy saffron and courgette pasta
1 small pinch of saffron
250ml chicken or vegetable stock
250ml double cream
50g parmesan, grated
400g penne, cooked
1 Infuse the saffron in 1 tbsp water.
2 Meanwhile, dice the courgettes and place in a pan with the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain.
3 In a large pan over a gentle heat, mix the courgettes with the cream, saffron infusion and parmesan until slightly thickened. Add the cooked pasta and stir until warmed through. Season well and serve
Red rocket sauce
People in Britain seem to think that everything should be drowned in a tomato sauce and laden down with minced meat, but in fact some of the lovelier sauces are chock-full of fresh seasonal vegetables, herbs and spices (chilli plays a big part in my family recipes). This one's got a great taste and fights its own corner with a degree of panache and flair. Plus, it looks awesome too.
Heasgarnich, lurking in Glasgow
200g pasta, cooked
8-9 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes or fresh chilli
100g rocket, roughly chopped
Grated parmesan, to serve
1 Fry the garlic and chilli until it starts to colour, but not burn. Add the rocket and fry until wilted. Season, toss with cooked pasta and serve with parmesan.
Linguine con vongole e pomodorini (linguine with clams and tomatoes)
Cherry tomatoes add a dash of summer colour and flavour to this Italian classic. I would like to say I first ate it while holidaying in Italy, but I'm pretty sure it was at Wellington Italian eatery Mari Luca. Ideally the sauce and the pasta should be ready at the same time, but if unsure about timings, it's better to do the pasta first rather than let the clams overcook and become rubbery.
Simon Ragoonanan, Berkhamsted
Olive oil, for frying
1 shallot, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 chillies, finely chopped
250g cherry tomatoes
1-2 anchovy fillets, chopped
Large glass of white wine
1kg fresh clams, washed and cleaned
Large handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Cook the linguine in a large pan of salted water. It needs to be al dente, so aim for about a minute or so less than packet instructions.
2 At the same time, in a larger pan over a medium heat, fry the shallot, garlic, chilli, tomatoes and anchovy in generous glug of olive oil. After a couple of minutes, add a splash of wine and cook a further 5 minutes or so.
3 Add the clams and the rest of the wine. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until all the clams have opened. Give the pan a good shake - it'll help the clams open up and tear the tomato skins just enough.
4 Drain the pasta, then toss it into the clam mixture along with the parsley and butter.
5 Cover the pan, turn off the heat, and leave everything to sit in the pan for a couple of minutes. The linguine will soak up lots of the delicious cooking liquid, without cooking any further itself.
6 Serve in warmed bowls, spooning over any remaining cooking liquid.
Simple! Pesto alla trapanese. Photographs: Kim Lightbody for the Guardian