Free Weekly Go Faster Recipe

Rigatoni with butternut squash, pancetta and thyme

We love our healthy carbs at Go Faster Food! There are plenty of carby alternatives to pasta, such as quinoa and couscous, in Go Faster Food, but I have to say that pasta is still my ‘go-to’ quick-fix evening meal, especially when I’m training hard for an event. The kids love it, I love it, Mr. Go Faster Food loves it. It’s a winner all round!

And rightly so. Low in GI, the sugars in pasta are released very gradually into the bloodstream to provide sustained energy levels and to keep you feeling fuller for longer, so you won’t be tempted to snack between meals.  Try this scrummy recipe, it’s quick, easy and highly nutritious, packed with vitamin C, iron, fibre and heart-healthy omega 3 fats,  Cheap and cheerful comfort food for the whole family, whether you’re training or not!


  • Prep – 10 mins
  • Cook– 20 mins
to serve 4
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced into cubes
  • 400g rigatoni
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced very finely
  • 8 slices pancetta
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme (the leaves of about 3 sprigs)
  • 2 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
  • salt and black pepper
  • grated parmesan to taste


per serving
  • Energy (kcal) 545           
  • Carbohydrate (g) 97       
    • Of which sugars (g) 8  
  • Protein (g) 22 
  • Fat (g) 12.8  
    • Of which saturates (g) 4
  • Salt (g)  0.9                     
  • Fibre (g) 7.4


  1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the butternut squash and cook until very tender. Drain and set aside.
  2. Bring another large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the rigatoni according to pack instructions until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and very gently sauté the garlic for a few minutes until soft. Remove the garlic and add to the butternut squash.
  4. Add the pancetta to the frying pan and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and rest on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat.
  5. Keep the heat very gentle and add the butternut squash and garlic to the frying pan, then the thyme, the crème fraîche and a little freshly ground black pepper. Mash it all up with a fork until you have a creamy mash.
  6. When the rigatoni is cooked, drain it, reserving a good ladleful of the cooking water and then add the pasta and the cooking water to the butternut squash sauce. Stir it all together and then serve on warmed pasta dishes with 2 slices of pancetta laid on top of each serving, a few more sprinklings of fresh thyme and some grated parmesan.
Although she's got her eyes firmly on the prize (that's qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics in 2000), #GoFaster Ambassador and GB polevaulter Lucy Bryan still finds time to cook and vlog for us. And Lucy loves to eat this dish for supper the night before training.
She's getting pretty good at cooking now too ....
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