The 23-year-old Italian added a 66 to his opening 65 to sit 11 under par at the halfway stage at Close House.
Paratore, whose only previous European Tour title came in Sweden three years ago, made gains at the first and 14th, as well as picking up birdies at all three par fives on the course – his pitch for eagle on the 17th stopping inches short of the cup.
“It's really good,” he said. “I played really solid, especially the short game helped me to save some shots when needed.
“I've played a solid two days and I'm very happy.
“The wind was less today, it was a little bit easier than yesterday.”
Højgaard birdied the 15th from eight feet and reached the 17th green in two, with five birdies and a single bogey giving him a 67.
England's Oliver Fisher signed for a 69 to reach eight under, with tournament host Westwood among the later starters.