The Blog Roll See Italy Travel Blog

What's for dinner?

by Sunni Chapman

Autumn means one thing — pumpkin season! Gourds abound in local markets and fairs. In Italy, pumpkin is used in savory plates, like tortelloni. So, in honor of Thanksgiving, See Italy is sharing with you once more our Italian twist on the all-American squash: penne con la zucca or pasta with pumpkin.

This dish is sure to please the pickiest of eaters. You simply 1) roast the pumpkin, 2) stir with cheese, 3) toss with pasta, and 4) serve. Roasting brings out the squash’s sweetness.

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Impress your guests by serving them a heaping helping of pumpkin-and-parmigiano pasta. We promise they'll be shouting "Mamma mia!" at the first bite.

Below you’ll find our 100%-Italian approved recipe. Be sure you let us know how it turns out!


  • 8 oz. penne or rigatoni,cooked al dente
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of parmigiano, fresh grated
  • 4 oz pancetta, cubed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 – 1.5 lbs kabocha pumpkin
  • 1 onion, rough diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half, splitting it down the middle. Since you roast the squash whole, there is no need to peel. Scoop the seeds out from the cavity. Rub the squash all over with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Wrapping it will help the squash to steam and cook faster. Lay the squash flat-side down on a sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes — until the flesh softens and can be spooned out.

About 20 minutes into cooking the squash, frizzle the pancetta cubes over medium-low heat in a large and flat skillet. Cook until the pancetta starts to render. Add the diced onion to the pancetta, stirring constantly. When the onion turns translucent and the pancetta starts to brown, turn off the heat. Keep the onion and pancetta in the skillet.

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Take the squash pieces out of the oven and let them cool, unwrapped, for 2-3 min. Meanwhile, cook the pasta al dente. Remove the boiled pasta with a slotted spoon, reserving at least 1 cup of the hot and starchy water. Scoop out the squash pulp and mix it in the pan with the pancetta and onion. At this point, return the skillet to medium-low heat.

Stir squash, pancetta and parmigiano until a creamy mix has formed. The cheese will melt, blending into the softened pulp. Season to taste with fresh ground black pepper. You may need to use a wooden spoon to mash larger chunks of squash. As a final step, toss the pasta with the cheese-and-squash mix. Serve hot, sprinkled with a spoonful of grated cheese or fried sage.

We are grateful for all you do so clients can enjoy themselves worry-free. We see the work that often goes unnoticed by others. From the bottom of our hearts, let me say: grazie mille! The success of See Italy would be impossible without your care, your hard work and your loyalty. It's an honor to be your trusted partner in Italy. We're thankful to know you!

Ciao, ciao, 


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