Butternut & bacon fusilli

Butternut & bacon fusilli

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(43 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 4

This easy pasta dish with pancetta, butternut squash and spinach makes a healthy weeknight dinner. Fresh rosemary adds extra flavour

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal442
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs62g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre5g
  • protein16g
  • salt0.7g


  • ½ x 160g pack pancetta di cubetti



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 750g butternut squash, deseeded and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 350g fusilli bucati (or fusilli)
  • 100g young leaf spinach, roughly chopped
  • grated parmesan, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Tip the pancetta into a large frying pan set over a medium heat and cook for 5-8 mins until really crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan. Add the oil to the pan, along with the squash, rosemary, chilli and garlic. Cover and cook for 25 mins, stirring now and then, until the squash is tender. Season well, and gently crush some of the butternut squash with the back of a spoon.

  2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil 15 mins before the squash is ready, and cook the pasta following pack instructions. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Add 1-2 ladles of pasta water to the squash and let it bubble for a few mins. Tip in the drained pasta and toss together. Stir through the spinach, then divide between plates. Sprinkle over the pancetta, some grated Parmesan and a good grinding of black pepper.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Liz Austin's picture
Liz Austin
10th Jan, 2020
Made this last night but changed the method a bit. I put all the ingredients from step 1 (left the garlic whole in the skin tho) and only 1 tbs of oil into a roasting tin and cooked at fan 210 for about 20 mins. Then put tin on medium hob and added cooked pasta and spinach. Plus a few ladles of the cooking water and reduced. It was delicious! Will make again.
24th Oct, 2019
I made a few changes to this and it was delicious. I used butternut that I’d already roasted with garlic and added a grated courgette and some rehydrated porcini mushrooms and a pinch of chilli flakes. Also used kale as I didn’t have any spinach and it worked really well. Since made a second time and added a stick of celery and cooked the pasta in veg stock - it was even better.
Lesley Thomson
19th Jun, 2018
Made this last night for two, really enjoyed it. Used a whole butternut squash which I cooked for a few minutes less than the recipe suggested. I used one large garlic clove and one chilli, but it could have taken more. I used around the weight of pancetta that the recipe suggested, I think if it was for 4 people there wouldn’t be very much to go around. Overall tasted great and straightforward recipe, will definitely make again.
24th Oct, 2017
I really enjoyed this dish, although I accidentally put birds-eye chilli flakes instead of normal chilli flakes, which gave it a really nice kick. The butternut squash cooked really quickly, after 15 mins it had started to soften, so it ended up quite mushy - would probably roast it next time to add a bit more texture.
4th Oct, 2017
Made this last night, it was ok. Not awful but even with roasting the squash it just lacked flavour. Will use chorizo or more bacon if I do it again but them becomes a lot less healthy.
30th Mar, 2017
I really enjoyed this, I swapped the pancetta for unsmoked bacon pieces as I'm not a huge fan of the fatty chunks. I also roasted the butternut squash first instead of leaving it in the pan. Delicious
27th Feb, 2017
Very nice, will make again !
30th Jan, 2017
Really tasty but not enough for x4 people with an appetite. 2 of us polished it off no problem!
28th Apr, 2015
This is a really lovely meal and very easy to make. The pancetta and parmesan really give it the flavour. I had read it was a little bland in other comments, so I did add a vegetable stock cube into the mix. Also I used dried rosemary instead of fresh. A win around the dinner table, although for the bigger appetites next time, I would serve with a little garlic bread.
8th Apr, 2015
Really tasty and easy to make. Used sweet potato the second time I made this instead of butternut squash.


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chloe taylor's picture
chloe taylor
26th Feb, 2018
Instead of using the pancetta to serve I mixed everything together, only thing I didn’t mix was the Parmesan. I think adding more pancetta gave it more flavour. It was definitely delicious! A lot of the reviews says it’s bland but mine was definitely not! Wish I’d made more to tub up for other meals.
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