In Italy, pasta never goes out of style no matter the season. However, since Italians do tend to build meals around seasonal ingredients, there are some pasta dishes more popular in the autumn months. Discover 10 fall pasta recipes you’ll find in homes throughout Italy now through December.
Seasonal fall ingredients in Italy include pumpkins and squashes, sausages and mushrooms, and sauces not requiring fresh tomatoes. Since it gets very hot during the summer in Italy, the ability to turn on the oven again during the autumn months gives Italians the perfect opportunity for all of those baked ‘al forno’ pasta dishes! And of course, heavy cheesy or creamy dishes are a touch more popular when Italians crave comfort food. Without further ado, let’s get started!
#1 Pici with Tomato Garlic Pasta Sauce
Pici all’Aglione is one of our favorites! It uses the iconic ‘aglione’ of Tuscany—a mild, large ‘elephant’ garlic with a flavor more akin to a leak. It’s seasonal in October and costs a pretty penny in Italy. However, if you can get your hands on elephant garlic, this is an unforgettable fall pasta dish. If you can’t find pici, you can substitute a thick dry spaghetti or better yet, a fresh spaghetti.
#2 Wild Boar Ragù with Pappardelle Pasta
Wild boar are abundant throughout Italy, and tend to be hunted in the fall and winter months. What does that mean to Italians? Time for a traditional Ragù di Cinghiale! This slow-cooked ragù is packed with flavor and is traditionally served with pappardelle pasta.
#3 Butternut Squash Ravioli from Mantova
Squashes of all kinds start popping up at markets and groceries in Italy in the fall. One of the most famous squash pasta dishes in Italy is the ‘Tortelli di Zucca Mantovani‘! The traditional squash used is closer to a buttercup and the filling includes a unique blend of ingredients: cheese, a fruity ‘mostarda’ and amaretti cookies! Trust us, there is method to the madness of this recipe and this squash filling is the best we’ve ever tasted.
#4 Papalina Pasta (‘Carbonara’ with Onions, Prosciutto, Parmigiano)
Technically this Roman classic is enjoyed year round, however many Italians tend to consider ‘carbonara’ style pasta with egg sauce a bit heavy in the warmer months. Translating to ‘The Pope’s Pasta,’ this dish is perfect for anyone who enjoys onions or Parmigiano cheese in the faux ‘Carbonara’ recipes found abroad. These are not traditional ingredients to the Spaghetti Carbonara recipes in Italy, but they do really deliver in this spin-off dish.
If Papalina Pasta is a stick-to-your-ribs dish, what can we say about the traditional Spaghetti Carbonara? With egg, pecorino and guanciale, this amazing pasta recipe is best suited to fall and winter when you need that extra comfort food.
#6 Four Cheese Gnocchi and Gnocchi ‘Al Forno’
This decadent four cheese sauce (with heavy cream) is the perfect fall pasta recipe! You essentially get two dishes in one with this recipe, as it tastes completely different if you choose to finish it under the grill and make it ‘al forno.’
It doesn’t get much healthier than this fall pasta recipe from Puglia! Cime di rapa, also known as rapini or broccoli rabe, is typically in season in Italy from late autumn to early spring. This classic dish is traditionally served with orecchiette pasta (‘little ears’ in Italian).
#8 Gnocchetti with Onions, Beans and Sausage (Pasta e Fagioli)
This recipe is based on a dish called Gnocchetti alla Coliscipolana in the Umbria region of Italy, which we’ve had many times in local restaurants. Little flour gnocchi are paired with an onion and bean sauce punctuated with sausage crumbles. It’s a savory dish that has become one of our favorites during the autumn months. It’s a type of Pasta e Fagioli (Pasta and Beans), though particular to this region.
When tomatoes are no longer in season, it’s the perfect time to bust out recipes that call for jarred, canned or tomato concentrate. The famous ‘Killer Spaghetti‘ of Bari is fried, then slow-cooked like a risotto in tomato broth. Mamma mia!!
#10: Gnocchi alla Romana
One of Italy’s most underrated pasta dishes, the Roman gnocchi does not have potatoes and are instead made from semolino— virtually the same ingredient found in cream of wheat! This satisfying fall pasta recipe is even tastier when finished off in the oven with butter and sage or your favorite cheese.
So, there you have it! These Italian fall pasta recipes are sure to fill stomachs and feed the soul this autumn. Which one will you try first?