These hasselback potatoes are a bit more time-consuming to prepare than simple roast spuds, but they look impressive and get lovely and crisp on the base, the pancetta fat melting into the layers and adding delicious salty-pork flavours.
- 6-8 Desiree or red rascal potatoes (180gm each), peeled
- 6-8 very thin pancetta slices (see note), torn into thin strips
- 2 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Thinly slice potatoes crossways just short of cutting through the base. A ruler placed on either side of the potato helps prevent the knife going all the way through. Gently press strips of pancetta and thyme between the slices at regular intervals (any pancetta sticking out too far may burn, so tear into smaller pieces).
- 2Place potatoes cut-side up in a roasting pan, drizzle with oil and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast potatoes, turning once and scattering with remaining thyme towards end of cooking, until cooked through and golden brown (45 minutes to 1 hour). Serve hot.
The pancetta slices need to be very thin to fit between the potato slices; have it sliced so you can almost see through the fat.