{recipe} Bucatini with Pancetta and Pumpkin-Parmesan Sauce

I’ve been having some serious pumpkin cravings lately, so I thought I would try to work some into my dinner. This is an excellent way to use up any canned pumpkin you may have left over from your fall dessert attempts (I’ve been trying to perfect pumpkin fudge so I have a lot of the stuff around!)

Not everyone is a big fan of marjoram, and it’s not always the easiest herb to find in a store. I think the slightly floral nature goes perfectly with the pumpkin, but you can certainly substitute thyme or sage and still get excellent results.

This could easily be made vegetarian if you just don’t use the pancetta; just use a little extra butter instead to make up for the missing grease.

Bucatini with Pancetta and Pumpkin-Parmesan Sauce
serves 2-4


  • 12 oz. bucatini (or other pasta shape of your choice)
  • 4 oz. pancetta, cubed
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 tsp. fresh marjoram, chopped, divided
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan
  • 1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (or more to taste)


  • Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain, reserving one cup of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, cook pancetta in a large saute pan over medium heat until browned and crispy. Remove onto paper towels and set aside.
  • Remove all but 2 tsp pancetta grease from the pan. Add butter. Add onions and 1 tsp. marjoram and cook 3-5 minutes, until onions are softened. Add garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add lemon juice and cook until dry.
  • Whisk together pumpkin and cream. Add mixture to pan with 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Bring to a boil and add pasta, parmesan, and black pepper. Season with salt to taste.
  • Toss with tongs over high heat for about 3-4 minutes, until pasta is coated and sauce has reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  • Remove to bowls and garnish with remaining marjoram and reserved pancetta.

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2 Responses

  1. Dixie says:

    This has turned out to be one of our favorite recipes. The fresh marjoram is important in balancing the pancetta and pumpkin. Have made this several times and everyone has loved it.