I'm addicted to 4-quart saucepans. When I entertain, I usually find myself cooking for small groups of two to six people, and a 4-qt. pan is perfect for making just the right amount of everything from soups to pastas to sauces. My latest favorite is the copper core saucepan from All-Clad's new line in collaboration with chef Thomas Keller—the combination of copper, stainless steel, and aluminum results in superior, dishwasher-safe cookware with quick and even heat distribution. I especially love the flared rims, which make it easy to pour sauces, soups, or stocks directly from the pot without drips or spills. An added bonus: the flat, universal lid can be used to cover all kinds of saucepans in multiple sizes, which allows me to keep just one lid in my small New York kitchen instead of five.
All-Clad TK™ Copper Core Sauce Pot, $330 for a 4-qt. saucepan at williams-sonoma.com