Both versatile and crowd-pleasing, pasta is one of those pantry staples that is quick and luxurious—that’s why it’s such a perfect candidate for weeknight dinners, entertaining, or just about any meal. As the weather cools and fall kicks into high gear, you can keep the pasta dishes coming by giving them an autumnal spin and exploring the heartier side of this favorite. Let our recipes guide you into the season.
Start by pairing pasta with plentiful fall vegetables. First, try our cheesy butternut squash shells; this dish is basically adult mac and cheese, and it’s sure to please everyone at the dinner table. If you’re looking to go with something a little different, a pink-hued gemelli with red cabbage and beets should fit the bill. Swap leafier herbs like basil for heartier herbs like rosemary in an orecchiette with chickpeas and olives. Give pesto a fall makeover by whipping up a more robust version with broccoli rabe in place of basil and walnuts in place of pignoli, as pictured here.
Move from outside grilling to oven baking with our creamiest baked ziti recipe yet—there’s just something about letting the flavors meld in the oven then scooping out cheesy bites that you can’t get from mixing it on the stovetop. For comforting, roasted flavor, make the sauce on a sheet pan in the oven—our cheese ravioli with roasted eggplant, tomato, and capers is pretty irresistible.
Then explore one of the best things about cooking pasta: It doesn’t have to be complicated or full of fresh ingredients to be mouthwatering delicious. Dishes like cacio e pepper or our popular One-Pan Pasta bring sophisticated flavors to the table with minimal, easy to find ingredients and simple cooking techniques. Plus, these recipes are great excuses to use up items in the pantry.
Want to make pasta every night? Why not! Keep it exciting by switching up the noodles and accompaniments. One night you can enjoy Brussels and bacon with a long noodle like spaghetti. The next, cook up a dish with short pasta like Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel. For an even different approach, bake orzo into a paella inspired dish topped with shrimp. Read on for more inspired fall pasta recipes.