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Pasta with Pumpkin, Crispy Pancetta, Sage and Parmesan

A gorgeous pasta dish, full of autumnal flavours and a cinch to make. Veggies can leave out the pancetta.


  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 150g/51/2oz pancetta cubed

  • 1 small onion, very finely sliced

  • 500g/1lb2oz penne or tagliatelle pasta

  • 500g/1lb/2oz pumpkin or butternut squash skinned, cleaned and finely diced

  • 50g/2oz butter

  • 4 tbsp fresh sage finely shredded

  • 100g/3½ oz freshly grated Parmesan

  • Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Bring a large pan of boiling salted water to the boil.

  • 2.

    Heat a heavy-based saucepan, add one tablespoon of the olive oil and then add the pancetta. Cook until the pancetta starts to change colour. Then add the remaining oil and the onions. Cook until the onions start to soften and the pancetta begins to crisp. 

  • 3.

    Next add half of the butter to the pan. Tip in the pumpkin and sage, then mix really well. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Cover and allow to cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • 4.

    Meanwhile add the penne to the boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions, keeping the pasta al dente. Add the remaining butter and the parsley to the pumpkin pan and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. The pumpkin should be soft but not completely falling apart.

  • 5.

    Drain the pasta and add to the pumpkin. Stir in half of the parmesan, then check the seasoning. Divide between four warmed pasta bowls. Finish each bowl with a sprinkling of Parmesan and eat straight away.

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