Store-bought dried orecchiette gets tossed with a bolognese sauce made with just ham and ground chuck. Finishing the dish with chestnuts (leaving out the porcini and squash) adds a delicious and unexpected touch.
Andrew Carmellini cooks homemade gnocchi in his own intense mushroom stock, then serves them with porcini butter (blended with garlic, herbs and Parmesan) and white-truffle shavings. In the easy way, store-bought gnocchi and chicken stock fill in for the homemade kinds. The topping: Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.
You can substitute pumpkin or hubbard squash—whichever looks more beautiful at your market—for the butternut. "Cook the squash until it's soft but not falling apart—you don't want al dente squash, but you don't want mush either," says Mario Batali.