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Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin

Even though we have been experiencing another burst of summer weather, I feel like we are truly in fall. Fall, to me, means winter squash, sweet potatoes, soup, and casserole type recipes with a healthy serving of pork thrown in; I am southern born and bred after all...;-) In Tennessee, it has been a wee bit cooler than Georgia and South Carolina, so I actually made this last Sunday and served it with some stuffed pork chops. It checks off a lot of my fall hit list; sweet potatoes, pork, goes in the oven, plus takes a known recipe and kind of turns it on its ear. It was not a disappointment and heats up quite well for leftovers. This recipe calls for pancetta, an Italian style rolled bacon that Savannah River Farms does a lovely rendition of, but you could also use regular bacon instead. I do think the muffin tin cooking idea is quite ingenious, but I made it in a rectangular casserole dish (as you would a regular gratin,) since it was just the two of us, but did increase the cooking time by about 10 minutes in each step, until it was brown on top and bubbly. Whichever method of cooking you decide to employ, I know this will be a big hit in your house like it was in mine.

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