Special equipment: Colander
Fill a medium saucepan with several inches of salted water and bring to a boil. Add the sprouts and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse immediately under cold water. Drain well.
Heat the oil in a large saute pan (not nonstick) over medium-low heat. Add the pancetta and saute until browned in spots, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the sprouts, spreading them out so that they are, for the most part, in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, turning occasionally, until the sprouts are nicely golden in spots and fork tender, about 12 minutes. If the sprouts begin to brown all over and stick to the pan, add a splash of vinegar to the pan to help loosen the browned bits.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve.
Adapted from "One Dish at a Time: Delicious Recipes from My Italian-American Childhood and Beyond" by Valerie Bertinelli © Rodale 2012. Provided courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli. All rights reserved.
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