Following code is used to display most recent posts. We can limit number of posts displayed by specifying number of posts we want to display.

<ul>
<li>
<h2>Recent Posts</h2>
<ul>
<?php
$number_recents_posts = 5;//Enter number of recent of posts you want to display
$args=array('numberposts' => $number_recents_posts,'post_status'=>'publish');
$recent_posts = wp_get_recent_posts( $args );
foreach($recent_posts as $post){
echo '<li><a href="' . get_permalink($post["ID"]) . '" title="Look '.$post["post_title"].'" >' .   $post["post_title"].'</a> </li> ';
} ?>
</ul>
</li>
</ul>