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  • Sun Dried Tomato Chimichurri
  • 1/3 cup very finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup Bella Sun Luci Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Bella Sun Luci Julienne-Cut Sun Dried Tomatoes in Olive
  • Oil with Italian herbs
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Potato Pancetta Cakes

  • 1-1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled until just tender (Do NOT overcook!)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes with Greek Oregano, Basil and Garlic, slightly chopped into smaller pieces
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta, cooked until crispy and browned (bacon may be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1-1/3 cups panko bread crumbs—divided use
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Bella Sun Luci Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 large eggs, fried sunny-side up


To prepare chimichurri, place parsley, oil, sun dried tomatoes, vinegar, salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl; mix well. Set aside.

To prepare cakes, place cooked potatoes in a large bowl; mash until almost smooth. Add sun-dried tomatoes, pancetta, cheeses, 1/3-cup panko, and parsley; mix well. Add egg and stir until well blended.

Form potato mixture into eight (3-1/2- inch wide) flat cakes. (Rubbing olive oil on hands first will help keep potato mixture from sticking to hands.) Place remaining panko crumbs on a plate. Place a potato cake in crumbs, coating both sides well. Repeat with remaining cakes and crumbs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat; add oil and butter and swirl to melt butter. Place potato cakes in skillet. Turning once, fry over medium to medium-high heat until golden brown and crispy on both sides, about 12 minutes.

To plate, place 2 hot potato cakes on four individual serving plates. Top each serving with a hot fried egg. Drizzle with chimichurri. Serves 4.

Back to 2016 Winners

Interview with Mary Hawkes

Second Prize Winner: "Mediterranean Potato Pancetta Cakes Topped with Fried Eggs and Sun Dried Tomato Chimichurri"

How did you feel when you found out you won the contest?

Ecstatic! Wow! Thrilled! In other words, I was quite happy that my dish was honored

How did you come up with the idea for the winning recipe?

A family favorite has long been mashed potato cakes. I vary the cakes with different herbs, veggies and seasonings. For Mediterranean Potato Pancetta Cakes, I added sun dried tomatoes to the cakes and to the chimichurri to provide a bright, rich tomato flavor to the dish.

How long have you been using Bella Sun Luci products? And what is your favorite?

I have been using Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes about 8 years. My "go to" favorite is the Sun Dried Julienne Tomatoes with Italian Herbs; it provides an intense tomato taste for a perfect flavor "pop" in appetizers, salads or entrees.

Where do you shop for Bella Sun Luci products?

Safeway, however, there is a very limited selection of Bella Sun Luci products in our town.

Other hobbies, passions, pastimes?

You might find me hiking mountain trails or panning for gold. I will certainly not become rich panning gold, but it is a wonderful excuse to enjoy the great outdoors! I also like to make jewelry. And my true competitive spirit will come out when playing card or board games!

Any other comments you would like to add that relate to your passion for cooking?

I love to cook and create new recipes. Using a quality product like Bella Sun Luci delivers wonderful flavor profiles for home-cooked dishes that family and friends enjoy.