Pancetta Leek Frittata with a Yam Base

There are few breakfast options more universal yet varied than bacon and eggs. Here I used thickly cut pancetta, a type of Italian bacon in a frittata, along with some leeks and a base of thinly sliced yams. Pancetta, like bacon, is cured pork belly but unlike bacon it isn’t smoked. The two can be used pretty interchangeably but the best way to get either of them for a dish like this is cut extra thickly straight from the deli counter. The richness of the meat combined with the eggs makes this taste satisfying and decadent. It’s a good, healthy and homemade option for when cravings for rich food kick in.Chopping the pancetta and slicing the leeks then sautéing them together renders down the pork and starts to caramelize the leeks, enhancing their flavour and bringing out their natural sweetness. It adds around ten minutes to the preparation time but it creates a whole layer of flavour and is a way to get rid of some of the excess fat from the pork, making for a dense frittata that is not too oily.Once the leeks start to brown they are starting to caramelize and will need to be stirred frequently from this point forward so they don’t burn. As this happens the pancetta will crisp up and turn golden brown. Layering some very thinly sliced yams along the bottom of a pie dish creates a base much healthier and nutritious base than pastry. It adds in some natural sweetness and their starchy texture provides a nice contrast to the heavier pancetta and eggs.As long as the yam is sliced paper-thin it will not need any advance cooking time. The fastest way to achieve this is with a mandolin but it could also work to use a cheese grater, then lay the shreds out in a thin and even layer.Since this is an especially rich frittata I cut it into six slices but it could also be used for four larger servings. Slicing it then wrapping each slice individually makes this an easy item to prepare in advance and take to school or the office for a quick breakfast or lunch.

Pancetta Leek Frittata with a Yam Base
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 8 eggs
  • 300 grams pancetta, chopped
  • 1 large leek, halved and sliced
  • 1 cup yams, sliced paper thin (2 small or 1 medium)
  • A spray or brush of avocado oil (an any preferred type)
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat.
  3. Once it is warmed up add in the pancetta and leeks. In the beginning it will only need to be stirred every minute or two but at about the seven minute in point (when the leeks start to brown) it will need to be sautéed, or stirred continuously for a final three minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a large bowl, add in the pepper and whisk until fully blended.
  5. Peel and slice the yams.
  6. Spray or brush a large pie dish with a thin layer of oil. Arrange the yam slices so that they are slightly overlapping in an even layer, covering the whole bottom of the pan.
  7. Once the pancetta mixture is ready remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool for a couple minutes. Spread out some paper towel then dump the pancetta mixture on top to absorb any excess oil. Dap the top with more paper towel.
  8. Add the pancetta mixture into the eggs, stir to combine evenly then carefully pour it all into the pie dish over the yams.
  9. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown on top and cooked all the way through.
  10. *The green parts of the leeks might look pretty dark but they won't taste burnt.

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