Butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms

butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms

This butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms is one of my favourite recipes in my cookbook. It’s the recipe I decided to use in the making of this food film. Aside from being very tasty, it has lots of steps that make for the perfect length for a video.

I was thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate with Grinder Films – a production company where I shoot a lot of TV commercials, and Simon Barnes. 

Simon joins Grinder after many years as a sought-after tabletop photographer, working in the UK and South Africa on global food and beverage brands including McDonald’s, Guinness, Heineken, Woolworths, Amstel, Windhoek, Ceres, Liquifruit & Appletizer.

Grinder Films Executive Producer David Rowley adds “Simon has the energy and vision to constantly innovate new visual styles. He is a breath of fresh air to the world of tabletop directing and we are excited to have him in our team.”

Grinder Films is Southern Africa’s only dedicated tabletop studio and specialists in food, beverage and product cinematography and photography. Established in 2009 by David Rowley, Grinder operates from its custom-built studio in Cape Town and currently represents 9 specialist tabletop directors in both South African and international markets.

This sauce is a refreshing change from the ubiquitous tomato or cream-based varieties. I’ve included bacon and crispy prosciutto in this recipe, but it can just as easily be left out and replaced with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds to make it a vegetarian dish.

I like the bacon to remain crispy, so I cook it beforehand and add it again right at the end, half mixed into the sauce and half scattered over the top for a lovely crunchy texture.

I use shiitake mushrooms because I love their slightly chewy texture and meaty flavour, but any mushrooms will work well. I tend to avoid the white-button ones, though, as they don’t have as much flavour as other varieties.

You will find an updated recipe and reel for this recipe here.

Butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms

A creamy pasta sauce made with roasted butternut and mascarpone served with pan-fried mushrooms and crispy prosciutto.
Print Recipe
butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:40 minutes
Total Time:1 hour


  • 1 medium butternut peeled and diced (about 4 heaped cups)
  • olive oil for drizzling • salt • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices prosciutto or Parma ham optional
  • 150 g mascarpone
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 100 g smoked streaky bacon finely chopped
  • 120 g shiitake or brown mushrooms sliced
  • 2 t chopped fresh thyme
  • 300 g fresh tagliatelle or 250g dry pasta
  • freshly grated Parmesan to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C, place the butternut on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, coating well. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until caramelised and tender.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the oven is still hot, place the prosciutto or Parma ham (if using) on a baking tray and roast for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crispy and curled. Set aside.
  • Blend the butternut, mascarpone and stock in a food processor until smooth. Adjust the seasoning.
  • Heat a nonstick frying pan and fry the bacon until crispy, then drain on kitchen paper.
  • Using the same pan, sauté the mushrooms until they just start to caramelise (about 4 minutes). Add the thyme and cook for another minute or two. Add the butternut mixture to the mushrooms and stir through.
  • Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain,reserving some of the cooking liquid. Add the cooked pasta and half the bacon to the butternut and stir. If the sauce is a bit thick, add about 60ml of the pasta water to thin it out.
  • Scatter over the remaining bacon bits.
  • Serve with fresh Parmesan and the crispy prosciutto.


Due to the high-fat content of the cream in mascarpone, this pasta sauce does not freeze well.

This is the image I took of the recipe for my book:

butternut tagliatelle with crispy bacon and mushrooms


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  1. I have to try this. It looks SO good!

  2. Thanks Anina x

  3. Oh my goodness – this looks like a big bowl of comfort. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

  4. Thanks Anne, comfort food it most definitely is. Enjoy!

  5. Absolutely perfect dish! The video makes the meal even more enticing… bacon and mushrooms go so well together!


  6. This is a beautiful recipe – so inventive! We’d love to feature it as one of our favorite Fall recipes on Feastly – a platform celebrating chef’s skills and bringing diners to their homes to partake of incredible meals. Please contact us at info@eatfeastly.com with permission to do so. Thanks!

  7. So simple and looks delicious! The mascarpone is a surprise, I’m sure it creates a wonderful sauce. Don’t know why I only think of it with desserts. Gotta get outside the box 🙂 Pinned to try!

  8. I love this video! The music is quaint and the editing is perfection! Wonderful job! The dish looks a bit too rich for me but quite delicious!
    I’m so happy I discovered your food blog! Yay!!!

  9. Thanks Donna, yes it is quite a decadent one 🙂

  10. OK, so I love comments on how the recipe turned out, so I’ll add one: it was *amazing*! We are parents of a newborn, so time for cooking and eating out is hard to come by – but this made us feel like we were eating in!! I substituted marscapone with plain yogurt, and it was delicious, but am going to try that one day! Pumpkin seeds were my favourite finishing touch. Great recipe!

  11. Yay Zoe, thank you for the comment and I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s one of my favourites 🙂

  12. Saw this, had to make it, and did so. It is a really lovely recipe that is not only easy to replicate, but absolutely delicious! My whole family enjoyed it, and have already been asked to make it again.

  13. Ah Ryan that is so lovely to hear and thanks so much for letting me know. This made my day. Its a recipe very close to my heart and one I love the most from my book.

  14. I have made this twice now with some US swaps as needed (hard to find marscapone in my neck of the woods) – it is soo delicious! Great recipe.

  15. So Awesome to hear kathy, its one of my favourites too.

  16. Um, yum 😐 this is happening!

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