Pumpkin is on everyone's mind (and porch) today, but while there are many great recipes for pumpkin pies, cakes and waffles, there are fewwe great savory pumpkin recipes. The inherent issue with pumpkin is that it's rather sweet, and can tend towards mushy or even slimy if prepared wrong. Tempering the sweetness of the pumpkin with dense Yukon gold potatoes and salty pancetta turns a fantastic ingredient once relegated to soups and sweets into the star of brunch.
Many great brunch dishes combine both savory and sweet elements, and although pumpkin has both of these qualities, it can be hard to make this ingredient excel in an essentially savory dish. This recipe staggers the cooking of the potatoes and pumpkin in order to maintain the integrity of both ingredients. Topping this hash with a fried egg adds the prefect amount of richness from a runny yolk. A terrific side to this sweet and savory dish are green tomatoes, which are abundant in both gardens and farmers' markets this time of year. Bread the green tomatoes and fry until crisp, season with salt and serve along side the hash. The tart flavor and crisp texture of fried green tomatoes make an ideal side to this exceptionally fall-flavored brunch.
Note: Although I used a non-stick pan you could use a regular skillet taking a little more care, and possibly more oil, to ensure that nothing sticks.
- 4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 4 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½ inch dice (about 4 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 a medium pumpkin (or other winter squash, like butternut or acorn) peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch dice (about 2 cups)
- Salt and pepper
- 4 eggs
Fry pancetta in a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes; remove from pan and reserve fat.
Increase heat to medium and add diced onion to skillet with pancetta fat and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add diced potatoes, red pepper flakes and water, cover and cook over high heat until potatoes are soft (about 5 minutes)
Once potatoes are soft and water has evaporated remove cover and add pumpkin. Cook with lid ajar until pumpkin is soft and both pumpkin and potatoes are beginning to brown, stirring often with wooden spoon to prevent sticking, about 8 minutes.
Return pancetta to pan and season to sate with salt and pepper. Divide hash evenly between four plates.
Fry eggs on medium-high heat in fat leftover in pan until the whites are set but the yolks are runny. Top hash with fried eggs and serve with fried green tomatoes.