I love Giada di Laurentiis on Food Network. I am her foodie fangrrl. I will slobber over just about anything she makes. But I jumped to make this one. Say whu? Potatoes? With bacon? AND pancetta? Has she been spying on me? How did she know that this combination was going to make me see stars? Little bacon shaped stars?
We do be loving some potatoes in my house and if you cook anything often enough, you know how easy it can be for said ingredient to taste monotonous. Hello, just look at poor chicken. We’re always looking for new ways to spruce up the ‘ole yard bird. Well, IMO, the potato is the yard bird’s starchy cousin in terms of I Need Some Cooking Wow. But wow doesn’t have to jump through hoops. It can be as simple as this recipe and taste so, so good.
Now, I do have a confession. When we cooked this for the blog, I think I overcrowded the pan and the potatoes didn’t get as crispy as they did the first time I made them. You know what? Boo hoo. They still tasted great. Let’s just put it this way — there weren’t any leftovers to heat up the next day.
The recipe calls for russet potatoes, but use whichever you prefer. At my house we’re gaga for baby red potatoes. I rarely buy any other kind to just have around the kitchen. Notice these have already felt the harsh reality of my blade. It’s a tough kitchen.
Cut them up until they look properly chastised. What did they do? Well…they did take up residence in my kitchen, tempting me with their potential. Pay up, potatoes!
Yes, the kidlet is wearing her nightgown and she’s sporting a fake tattoo. No, it’s not morning and we didn’t all just crawl out of bed after a night of partying til dawn. She probably just got done swimming. I like to think I’ve taught her well. I didn’t even realize she’d been wearing a nightgown till I edited the picture. I was focused. On potatoes. For you.
At my house, we’re a take no prisoners kind of bunch when it comes to garlic. Giada – one garlic clove? Really? I think I used four. At least.
And the cook sayeth unto the potatoes, may you be tasty and accompanied by meat wherever you shall go. And it was so.
Render the diced bacon and pancetta into extra crispy goodness. You’ll add in your garlic and potatoes after this step.
And we’ve fast-forwarded to the Tasty Future. Honestly, the pictures of cooking the potatoes weren’t that interesting. Now this – this is interesting! After you’ve cooked up your bacon and pancetta, you’re in for about 30 minutes of potato cooking. You’ll have to stir these bad boys. A lot. Please don’t be alarmed, that is not really that long for good food. And think of your taste buds. You’ve already made them a promise simply by cooking that bacon and pancetta.
This is a side dish that could work for literally any meal, any time of the day. Breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner – the kitchen sky’s the limit.
Potatoes with Bacon and Pancetta
From Giada de Laurentiis
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 42 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4
- 4 thick-cut slices bacon, roughly chopped
- 2 (1/4-inch thick) slices pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (or potato of your choice)
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and pancetta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon and pancetta are brown and crispy, about 10 to 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon and pancetta pieces to paper towels to drain. Add the potatoes and garlic to the pan. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are golden and cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Add the thyme, cooked bacon and cooked pancetta to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer the potatoes to a large serving bowl and serve immediately.
I can’t believe I’m going to admit this, but I don’t normally have fresh herbs in the fridge. I used dried thyme each time I’ve made this so far and it has tasted sensational, so I can only imagine what fresh thyme might do. Probably make my tongue ‘splode.
If you don’t have thyme, try some rosemary. If you don’t have either, go to the store. Just don’t forget if you use rosemary to chop it up a little (even the dried kind) as it’s a much woodier and stout herb. Left whole, the leaves often don’t play well with others. Chopped up, they seem to know their place and are more receptive to the other ingredients.
It might be obvious, but just in case it’s not, don’t drain off the rendered fat from the bacon and pancetta. You’ll be crisping up your potatoes in this and gifting them with lots of yummy flavor.
If this is your first experience with pancetta (hey, we all have that first time, don’t be shy), check your grocery store’s deli area, either in the section with the fancier prepackaged meats or see if they can slice some for you behind the deli counter. I swear we only got pancetta in my area about ten years ago. Or maybe that’s just when I started becoming interested in cooking. If you can’t find it no matter how far and wide you search, I would just up the bacon by another slice or two.