I’m usually quite health conscious when it comes to preparing meals for the family, however, I’ll admit loud and clear that this isn’t necessarily the lightest or most health-conscious meal, (starchy potatoes, salty, fatty pancetta, cheese…you get my drift?).
Regardless, don’t they look delicious?!
Objectively speaking, these potato patties are way healthier than any pre-packaged foods you’ll find in the grocery store. I prefer making these for my kids before giving them french fries from fast food locales, laden with trans-fats and salt, might I add!
The addition of pancetta and Parmesan adds a salty bite to the potatoes, which requires less additional salt in the recipe. They are crispy on the outside and smooth and creamy on the inside (except for those crunchy, chewy bits of pancetta stuffed inside!).
My son enjoys making these with me and although they are a bit messy, they are easy and quick to make! Once the potatoes are boiled and the pancetta is cooked all you have to do it mix it all together and throw the patties in a pan for a few minutes!
In case you need proof that the kids will love them…
(Yields about 8 medium-sized patties)
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 egg, whisked
1/4 cup – 3/4 cup breadcrumbs (as needed)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
200g (about 1 cup) cubed pancetta, cooked
3 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil (for frying)
salt and pepper to taste
prosciutto crudo or cotto
cooked ham, chicken or turkey
mozzarella, goat or feta cheese
green onions, chives, or parsley
In a medium sauce pot bring water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes or until a fork inserted in the potato comes out easily. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch. Peel the potatoes and mash until smooth or leave chunky as desired.
In the meantime, heat 1 tbs. of oil in a medium frying pan on medium heat for 1-2 minutes then add the pancetta. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the fat is slightly translucent and the meat is light pink.
*Do not overcook the pancetta otherwise the texture will be too tough for baby to eat!
Once cooked, immediately remove the pancetta from the frying pan and set on a large plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Once cooled, add to the potatoes along with the remaining ingredients.
Mix with a large wooden spoon until combined. The mixture will be somewhat sticky but should come together easily.
Remove desired portion size and form into a patty. Firmly press the patty together with your hands to ensure it holds its shape. Store patties in the fridge for one to two hours or until cooled and firm.
In a large frying pan heat 2 tbs. of olive oil on medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the patties and saute for about 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned and crispy.
Set the patties aside on a large plate lined with paper towels to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Garnish with another sprinkle of Parmesan or top with melted mozzarella cheese!