Fusilli with Butternut Squash

Fusilli alla Zucca


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta

Giuliano Hazan's Thirty Minute Pasta

By Giuliano Hazan

Published 2009

  • About

In Italy pumpkin would be used for this sauce, but I’ve found that butternut squash more closely resembles the flavor of Italian pumpkin than American pumpkin does. This sauce has been a hit with kids. I made this one day when my daughters had playmates over, and the five-to-nine-year-old crowd unanimously approved it!


  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces pancetta, sliced inch thick
  • pounds butternut squash
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound fusilli
  • 3 ounces medium-aged pecorino cheese (such as Crosta Rossa di Pienza)


  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Peel the onion and finely chop it. Put the butter in a 12-inch skillet, add the chopped onion, and place over medium-high heat. Sauté until the onion turns a rich golden color, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the onion is sautéing, cut the pancetta into narrow strips about 1 inch long. Remove the ends of the butternut squash and peel it down to the orange flesh, taking care to remove all the green parts. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Cut into ½-inch dice. You should end up with approximately 1½ pounds or 4 cups of diced squash.
  4. When the onion is ready, add the pancetta and sauté until it is lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash and season with salt and pepper. Stir well, then add 1 cup water and cover the pan. Cook until the squash is tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. When the squash is almost ready, add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the fusilli, and stir well. Cook until al dente.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, grate the pecorino cheese using the medium-sized holes of the grater. When the pasta is almost ready, mash the squash in the pan with a wooden spoon and mix in ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  7. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce and grated cheese, and serve at once.