3 Weeknight-Ready Pasta Dishes Perfect for Fall

To the never-ending question of what's for dinner, allow us to offer three easy answers--in the form of one favorite ingredient--from the cookbook Weeknight Fresh + Fast: pasta. It's already one of our weekly go-to's (and the theme for this month's Shine Supper Club) but author Kristine Kidd ups the ante by smartly adding the flavors of fall to each of these recipes, making them just right for right now.

Penne with Mushrooms and Turkey SausageRecipe: Penne with Mushrooms and Turkey Sausage

"Woodsy mushrooms and fragrant rosemary say fall to me," Kristine told us, "and this is one of the first recipes I make each year when the weather starts to turn cool."

3/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3/4 pound hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
10-12 oz button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
coarse kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
12 oz penne pasta, preferably multigrain
1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (plus more as needed)
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Rinse the porcini mushrooms to remove any sediment, then transfer to a small bowl. Pour 3/4 cup hot water over and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the porcini, reserving the soaking liquid. Chop the porcini, discarding any hard stems.

In a heavy, very large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, increase the heat to high, and cook until no longer pink, breaking up with a fork, about 4 minutes. Add the button mushrooms and rosemary, then season with salt and pepper. Stir until the mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the porcini, wine and bay leaf and boil until almost all the liquid evaporates, about 4 minutes. Add the 3/4 cup broth and the porcini soaking liquid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the sauce. Stir until the sauce coats the pasta. Remove from the heat, stir in the 1 cup cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Transfer the pasta to individual bowls or a large serving bowl. Garnish with parsley. Serve right away, passing additional cheese separately.

SERVES 4

NOTE:
-Dried mushrooms add depth of flavor to this dish, but if you can't find dried porcini, use dried mixed mushrooms or all button mushrooms.

Pasta with Ratatouille-Style VegetablesRecipe: Pasta with Ratatouille-Style Vegetables

Make use of late harvest eggplant, zucchinis, and basil by putting this pasta recipe on the menu. "I love the way rotini and fusilli pasta trap the naturally sweet sauce in their crevices," says Kristine.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced, slices cut crosswise in thirds
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced, slices cut crosswise in thirds
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
red pepper flakes
coarse kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
3/4 cup dry white wine
pinch sugar
2 Asian eggplants, cut lengthwise into thirds
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
12 ounces rotini or fusilli pasta (preferably multigrain)
Fresh goat cheese, crumbled

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, bell peppers, thyme, and a pinch of red pepper flakes; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Saute until the peppers are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, and break them up with a spoon. Add the wine and simmer to blend flavors, 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a pinch of sugar if the sauce tastes too acidic.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat, or preheat the broiler. Arrange the eggplant and zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to the grill rack, cover, and grill until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Or broil until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut the eggplant and zucchini into bite-size pieces and add to the sauce. Add the basil.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta, and then sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to a warmed large shallow bowl. Sprinkle generously with cheese and serve right away.

SERVES 4

NOTE:
-If you can't find Asian eggplants, Kristine recommends using one-third of a regular globe eggplant cut into 1/2-inch slices before grilling.
-In place of the white wine, you could use vermouth, broth, or water.

Pappardelle with Quick Bolognese SauceRecipe: Pappardelle with Quick Bolognese Sauce

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are staples, making this a perfect quick stand-by dish. Pop to the store for ground beef and fresh thyme, and dinner's almost done. The sauce is even richer when reheated, so consider making a batch on Sunday afternoon for the week ahead (or even doubling it and freezing half for dinner on an especially harried weeknight).

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 oz pancetta, finely chopped
coarse kosher salt and freshly-ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes in juice
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
12 oz dried egg pappardelle or fettucine
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, for serving

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and saute until tender and it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the ground beef and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper and saute, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, just until the beef is no longer pink. Add the wine and boil until it has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, cream, and nutmeg. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, breaking up the tomatoes and stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and the flavors are blended, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta, and then return to the same pot. Add the sauce and toss to coat.

Divide among 4 bowls. Sprinkle each with thyme and cheese. Serve right away, passing more cheese alongside.

SERVES 4

NOTE: If you can't find pancetta, use bacon.

Win a copy of of Weeknight Fresh + Fast by sharing your favorite pasta recipe with the Shine Supper Club. Here's how:

1. Write a blog post, on Shine or elsewhere, telling us about your favorite pasta recipe by Sunday 11:59PM PST, October 21st. Be sure to include a photo and a recipe.
2. Mention and link to the Shine Supper Club in your post: https://shine.yahoo.com/supper-club/
3. Tweet @yahooshine with a link to your post and include the hashtag #shinesupperclub. Aren't on Twitter? Email the link to shine_sarahmccoll@yahoo.com. We will compile the links and send them out to all participants to include in their post so all Supper Club members can share in the link love.
4. The community will vote on the winning recipe to be featured on the Shine homepage and added to our winner's circle!


No purchase is necessary to participate, and the giveaway is open to U.S. residents who are 18 or older. The full rules for the giveaway can be found here.