Barefoot Contessa’s Crispy English Potatoes with Pancetta

Perfect Potatoes!

Barefoot Contessa’s Crispy English Potatoes with Pancetta


From Ina Garten’s FOOLPROOF, here is our absolute FAVORITE potato recipe! My notes in the cookbook say, “Holy Moly, these are perfect!”  They are so easy to make that I serve them year-round. Golden, crispy, crunchy oven-roasted baby potatoes with pancetta and a sprinkling of chopped parsley or chives make for one of the best side dishes we’ve ever tasted.


I prefer either baby Yukon Golds (try Melissa’s Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes) or fingerling potatoes. If you use a larger potato cut them so they are all about the same size. Boil them for about ten minutes, so they have started cooking on the outside, but will be hard inside. Drain. Shake the pot to roughen up the outsides of the potatoes for even more crispy edges, and then roast in the oven with olive oil and pancetta. Sprinkle with some herbs for a perfect side dish that accompanies almost anything!

Try this recipe today … it is that good!


2 ½ pounds baby Yukon Golds or fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
4 oz. pancetta, diced but not too small or it will burn
¼ cup Italian flat leaf parsley or chives, minced
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 425F.

No matter what potatoes you use, cut them so that they are all about the same size (about 1 1/2-inch chunks) and place into a large saucepan with two handles. Cover the potatoes with 1-inch water and add 1 tablespoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. (The potatoes will have started cooking but be hard on the inside, don’t overcook or they will disintegrate when you shake them – I know this from experience!)

Drain the water, leaving the potatoes in the pot. Using a kitchen towel, grasp the pot with the lid on and SHAKE the potatoes vigorously for a full 5 seconds to rough up the edges. (Don’t go crazy or they may disintegrate!)

While the potatoes are cooking, place the pancetta on a rimmed sheet pan and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove from oven until your potatoes are ready. Add the drained potatoes to the sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Toss with a spatula to coat. Roast the potatoes and pancetta for 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.

Sprinkle with minced herbs along with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Serves 6

Recipe lightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa FOOLPROOF

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