Butternut Squash and Pancetta Penne

Salty pancetta and sweet squash combine beautifully in this easy pasta recipe from Gennaro Contaldo. On the table in 30 minutes, it's a perfect midweek meal.

From the book

Jamie's Food Tube: The Pasta Book by
Jamie's Food Tube: The Pasta Book
Become a master of pasta with Gennaro's authentic Italian recipes
Family favourite sauces that you know and love
Step-by-step guide to making your own fresh pasta


This simple, yet delicious pasta dish is filled with the flavours of pancetta, butternut squash and rosemary. The addition of chilli helps to make the dish extra warming when the weather turns chilly.

Serves 4
Cook time: 40 min


60g higher-welfare slices of pancetta
3 banana shallots, peeled
1/2 a fresh red chilli
650g butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
600ml hot organic vegetable stock
400g penne
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
10g Parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve


Start by preparing your ingredients. Finely slice the pancetta, shallots and chilli, then chop the squash into 1cm cubes. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the pancetta and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the shallots, chilli and rosemary leaves. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the squash and pour in the hot stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the liquid has reduced slightly.

Meanwhile, cook the penne in a large pan of boiling salted water until very al dente – it’ll continue cooking in the sauce so it’s important to undercook it. Reserving some of the cooking water, drain the penne and add to the sauce. Stir gently, adding a splash of the cooking water to loosen, if needed, then cook for a further 2 minutes to let the penne soak up all those beautiful flavours. Finely grate in the Parmesan and stir until deliciously creamy. Serve with a twist of pepper and an extra grating of Parmesan.

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