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Pumpkin, Parmesan, Pancetta and Penne Bake - Maggie Beer The Cook & The Chef

Saw Maggie Beer make this not so long ago and it was a tasty alternative for a main meal. Oven roasted pumpkin, crispy pancetta, 3 cheeses - parmesan, cheddar & fetta - blended with a bechamel sauce & baked until golden.


  • Butternut or Jap Pumpkin

  • olive oil

  • rosemary

  • salt & pepper

  • Bechamel:

  • 4 Tblsp butter

  • 2-3 Tblsp plain flour

  • milk - enough to form a sauce of your liking/consistency

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan

  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 box/bag of penne (or macaroni or shells, whichever pasta you prefer - I found mini penne which I used)

  • 200g cubed pancetta, cut into lardons (thick strips about 2cm long)

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced/crushed

  • 1 Spanish/red onion, finely diced

  • 1 eschallot, finely sliced

  • 100-200g Persian fetta


  • 1.

    Cube a butternut or jap pumpkin into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil & fresh rosemary & bake in a hot oven, 200DegC, until tender.

  • 2.

    Time will be determined by how large your cubes are.

  • 3.

    Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn - although a little browning is good!

  • 4.

    Make a bechamel sauce:

  • 5.

    Melt butter then add plain flour to make a roux & cook for 2-3 minutes to cook off the flour.

  • 6.

    Add milk a little at a time to create a creamy sauce, beating constantly.

  • 7.

    When sauce is desired consistency, add grated Parmesan & a little nutmeg.

  • 8.

    Bring a pot of salted water to a boil & cook penne until slightly underdone. (It will continue cooking in the sauce in the oven)

  • 9.

    In a frypan pan, gently saute lardons of pancetta until crisp & browned, add garlic, onion & eschallot, finely diced & cook until transparent.

  • 10.

    Drain pasta & put in a large mixing bowl or back into your pasta cooker - providing it is large enough to take the pasta, pumpkin, bechamel etc.

  • 11.

    Add roasted pumpkin & rosemary.

  • 12.

    Gently mix through the pancetta/onion/garlic.

  • 13.

    Lastly blend through the bechamel being careful not to be too rough & break up the pumpkin.

  • 14.

    Spoon into a greased baking dish and scatter 1 cup grated extra matured cheese on top then dot with small chunks of Persian fetta.

  • 15.

    Bake for around 20-30 minutes @ 185DegC or until browned & crispy on top.

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Posted by Helena18Report
Going to try this, should be good.