Tilapia and Mashed Yams With Pancetta-Sage Breadcrumbs

“Published Jan. 2010 Bon Appetit.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped (Italian bacon)
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumb (from French or sourdough bread with crust, ground in processor)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 12 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • 2 lbs medium yams, pierced all over with fork (red-skinned sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets


  1. Sauté pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to small bowl. Add breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon chopped sage to drippings in skillet; stir over medium-high heat until breadcrumbs are almost crisp, 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with pancetta. Cool (reserve skillet).
  2. Place yams on plate and microwave on high until very soft, 5 to 8 minutes per side, depending on size of yam. Transfer yams to work surface. Cut yams in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and place in medium glass bowl. Discard skin. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped sage and 1 tablespoon butter to yams; mash until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Sprinkle fish fillets with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish fillets and cook until golden brown on outside and just opaque in center, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. If necessary, rewarm yams in microwave. Divide mashed yams among 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 fish fillet, sprinkle generously with pancetta-sage breadcrumbs, and serve.

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