I am always looking for new, unique vegetable side dishes to go with roasted or grilled meats. When meat is on my menu, I often include oven roasted potatoes of some sort, then add another side such as sautéed leafy greens. When you stick to the same things time and time again, although delicious, it can get a tad boring. This easy vegetable side includes potatoes, zucchini, onions, garlic, and pancetta which are seasoned with fresh thyme and parsley. I love oven roasting vegetables because there is so little effort required once they are prepped and popped into the oven. An occasional toss and check, and you let the oven do the work. The only hitch in this recipe is that potatoes take much longer to cook than zucchini, but all you need to do is add the zucchini during the last 15 minutes or so.
For best results, use a waxy potato that will hold its shape and not break apart in the oven. I used a red Colfiorito potato found here in Umbria that is extremely hard for the dish in these photographs, so my cooking time was longer than usual. I usually use Yukon Gold potatoes however and find the cooking time will be shorter. Your cooking time may vary depending on your choice of potato, so just check the potatoes for doneness after 30 minutes. For recipes such as this that use pancetta, I prefer buying a slab of pancetta and cutting it into dice. If pancetta is difficult for you to find locally, you could substitute bacon.
Deborah Mele 2013
Roasted Potatoes, Zucchini, Onions & Pancetta
- 1 1/2 Pounds Waxy Potatoes (Yukon Gold), Peeled & Cut Into 1-inch Dice
- 2 Medium Onions, Peeled & Cut Into 1-inch Dice
- 4 Cloves Garlic, Peeled & Minced
- 4 Ounces Pancetta, Cut into 1/2-inch Dice
- 4 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves
- 1 1/2 Pounds Medium Zucchini, Trimmed & Cut Into 1-inch Dice
- 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Dump the potatoes, onions, garlic, pancetta, olive oil, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and thyme into a bowl and toss well to coat.
- Divide the mixture onto two lightly oiled baking sheets and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes are just about tender when pierced with a fork.
- Add the zucchini evenly between the baking sheets and stir to mix.
- Bake an additional 15 minutes, or until the zucchini and potatoes are very tender when pierced, and the mixture is golden brown.
- Add the fresh parsley leaves, mix, and serve immediately.