With layers of goodness, this pecorino pancetta and garlic mashed potatoes recipe is a great way to add flavor to the classic mashed potatoes side dish.
2 1/2 - 3 pounds russet Idaho® potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
4 ounces pancetta, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced fine (or 2 teaspoons garlic paste)
1 teaspoon dried sage
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup pecorino cheese, grated (or Parmesan cheese)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh sage, to garnish
In a large pot, add the diced potatoes and cover with a couple of inches of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer, allowing the potatoes to cook for about 15 minutes, or until a knife is easily inserted and potatoes are tender. Drain, return cooked potatoes to the pot and allow to steam for about 5 minutes.
In a medium skillet, add the pancetta and cook until crispy, about 5 - 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside.
Mash potatoes in the pot. Add the garlic, sage, and butter then the milk and cheese, mashing and mixing well until creamy.
Add in all but a couple of tablespoons of the crispy pancetta and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. If needed add a little more milk, a tablespoon at a time, until you have the desired consistency.
Serve garnished with the remaining pancetta and, if desired, any of the pancetta drippings, a small grating of more cheese and a sprig of fresh sage.