Welcome to “The Best Recipes on the Internet,” a new series where we ask experts to sift through the endless recipes available online and tell us which ones really work. Running point on the project is Cara Eisenpress, a passionate home cook and author of In The Small Kitchen: 100 Recipes From Our Year of Cooking in the Real World. First up: Italian!

The neighborhood Italian joint is a cornerstone of the dining scene in countless cities across the country, and Italian cuisine is the staple of home cooks. But when you feel like making something as ubiquitous as bolognese, how can you know which recipe to follow? Rather than abandoning you to trawl the Internet’s infinite cookbook for carbonara that turns out gloppy, or lasagna that always falls apart, we turned to a panel of experts and asked them to curate a list of the best recipes for 25 quintessential Italian dishes.

For this edition, we looked to people who love Italian cuisine, including a culinary historian, a blogger from the Tuscan countryside, and a journalist who has dedicated hours to interviewing Italian chefs in their home kitchens. From this brain trust, we leared that minestrone is not simply a soup made of leftovers, and that Marcella Hazan can do no wrong when it comes to pasta.

Instead of taking a chance on a random pesto, read on for recipes you can count on for gelato, spaghetti, pork roast, risotto, and other essentials of Italian home-cooking, chosen by the following experts:

Cathy Barrow, blogger at Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen and author of forthcoming Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry
Kristina Gill, Rome-based food and drinks editor at DesignSponge.com, and a photographer specializing in food and travel images
Linda Prospero, former journalist and creator of Ciao Chow Linda, a blog about Italian cooking
Adam Roberts, author of Secrets of the Best Chefs
Giulia Scarpaleggia, Tuscany-based blogger at Juls’ Kitchen
Domenica Marchetti, author of five books on Italian cooking, including The Glorious Pasta of Italy (Chronicle Books, 2011). She blogs at domenicacooks.com.
Cara Eisenpress, home cook; editor at Big Girls, Small Kitchen; and First We Feast contributor