By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Autumn Italian

The fall colors signal changes outdoors, but the change can be seen indoors as well. Dinner party fare becomes heartier, with more of the cooking done inside instead of on the grill.

This month's Autumn Italian menu is a make-ahead meal with the flavors of fall. An Antipasto Salad is tossed with Lemon-White Balsamic Vinaigrette that is served with thin baguette rounds spread with buttery Tuna-Caper Spread. Autumn lasagna is a rich dish which takes on the fall colors with a layer of winter squash. Cool Coffee-Toffee Tortoni are a twist on one of Italy's well-known frozen desserts.

Make the Tuna-Caper Spread, vinaigrette, lasagna and tortoni the day before your party and your work as host or hostess will be about as no-fuss as it gets.


Recipes:

Spiced Basmati Rice
Most curries from India are served with a starch – some puffy naan bread or aromatic basmati rice. Naan bread is fun to make at home, but the dough usually needs to be made three hours ahead, requiring a bit more forethought than weeknight family meals allow.
Antipasto Salad with Lemon-White Balsamic Vinaigrette
An antipasto salad can be the beginning of an Italian meal or a meal in itself. This special salad is loaded with salami, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and olives and is tossed with a tangy lemon-white balsamic vinaigrette.
Autumn Lasagna
Lasagna is a wonderful dinner party dish since it can be prepared ahead. And, this rich Autumn Lasagna is packed with flavor, texture and color.
Coffee-Toffee Tortoni
A cool tortoni is the perfectly light ending to a hearty meal, and this classic Italian dessert is perfectly simple to prepare. The secret? Marshmallows!