8 Italian Dishes for Fall

That familiar brisk nip and crisp, cool smell are back in the air. It's time to haul sweaters and scarves out of storage and bid farewell to summer's balmy days, bountiful produce, and backyard barbecues...at least until next year.

But autumn offers solace in the form of its own seasonal specialties. And in Italy, where the change between the seasons is particularly sharp throughout much of the country, some people wait all year for fall delicacies such as porcini mushrooms and chestnuts. 

Here's a selection of Italian recipes that use seasonal fall ingredients such as pumpkin, chestnuts, porcini mushrooms, apples, hazelnuts, and persimmons.

  • 01 of 08

    Pumpkin Risotto (Risotto di zucca gialla)

    Pumpkin Risotto
    Pumpkin Risotto with Parmesan Cheese. Image Source/Getty Images

     This pumpkin risotto, with its lovely orange color, is perfect topped with generous shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  • 02 of 08

    Castagnaccio -- A Traditional Tuscan Chestnut Cake

    Castagnaccio - Tuscan Chestnut Cake
    Castagnaccio - Tuscan Chestnut Cake. One Girl in the Kitchen/Getty Images

    This very traditional Tuscan recipe is more savory than sweet -- there is no sugar added at all and the only sweetness is the natural sweetness from chestnut flour and raisins. Topped with rosemary and pine nuts, it's a very interesting mix of salty and sweet, fruity, nutty and herbal.

  • 03 of 08

    Tuscan-Style White Beans with Sausage (Fagioli all'uccelletto)

    Fagioli all' Uccelleto with Sausages: A drizzle of Oil, and enjoy!
    Fagioli all' Uccelleto with Sausages: A drizzle of Oil, and enjoy!. © Kyle Phillips, Licensed to About.Com

    A hearty, comforting dish of white cannellini beans stewed in a rich tomato sauce with garlic, fresh sage, white wine, and sausage.

  • 04 of 08

    Grilled, Fried, or Stewed Porcini Mushrooms

    Porcini mushrooms

    Porcini mushrooms, particularly abundant in Tuscany, are one of fall's greatest treasures. Here's how to prepare them three different ways. 

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Fresh Chestnut Pasta in Butter-and-Sage Sauce

    Chestnut tagliatelle
    Chestnut tagliatelle. crummblle/Getty Images

    Make fresh stracci (irregular shapes) or tagliatelle from chestnut flour and serve these toothsome noodles in a simple browned butter-and-sage sauce that doesn't mask their nutty flavor.

  • 06 of 08

    Apple Risotto

    This unusual risotto made with apples and almonds makes a great side dish for roast pork dishes such as arista (roast pork loin).

  • 07 of 08

    An Autumn Recipe: Persimmons in Liquor (Cachi al liquore)

    Flesh of a ripe astringent persimmon
    Flesh of a ripe astringent persimmon. Topic Images/Getty Images

    A super simple way to transform ripe, soft Hachiya persimmons into an elegant, grown-up dessert.

  • 08 of 08

    A Jam, Apple, or Nutella Tart (Crostata)

    A nutella crostata
    A hazelnut-chocolate cream tart (Crostata di nutella). DEA/STECIA/Getty Images

    For a fall version of this traditional, rustic Italian tart, top pastry cream with apples, use jam you made from this past summer's fruit, or use nutty, chocolatey Nutella.