Cut a 150g piece of smoked pancetta into roughly 2cm cubes. Peel 2 medium to large sweet potatoes. Cut into 2cm cubes.
Warm 2 tbsp of olive oil in a shallow pan over a low to moderate heat, then add the cubes of smoked pancetta. Let them cook for a good 10 minutes until they have given up some of their fat and are starting to turn very pale gold in colour. Turn up the heat a little, then introduce the cubes of sweet potato and leave them to cook, partially covered by a lid, until they are starting to colour underneath. Turn them gently and continue cooking until tender. You should be able to slide a skewer or the point of a knife into them with little or no effort. Season lightly with salt.
Halve lengthwise, then de-seed and finely chop a medium-hot red chilli, then scatter over the sweet potato. Continue cooking for a few minutes, then grind over a little black pepper. Lift the sweet potatoes and pancetta on to a couple of plates or shallow dishes.
Place a whole burrata in the middle of each of the dishes, then split and squeeze the cheese gently so the soft centre oozes out. Season the cheese with a couple of pinches of smoked paprika then serve. Enough for 2
There is no need to be too accurate about the size of the sweet potato pieces, just make sure they are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
The slow cooking of the pancetta is essential to allow the fat to melt, as it adds much savour to the mash. Keep the heat low to moderate until the fat starts to run. Once the sweet potato goes in, you can turn the heat up, which will turn the pancetta lightly crisp and golden.
Follow Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater