Log in to  your Cookthink account !

Give us the email address you used to sign up with to Cookthink!

close

what about one of these?

Thumb_pancettaWhat is pancetta?

Thumb_pancettaWhat is pancetta?

Pancetta is often called Italian bacon. That's a true enough description, but unlike American bacon, which is most often smoked, pancetta is unsmoked pork belly that is cured in salt and spices such as nutmeg, pepper and fennel. It's then dried for a few months. Outside of Italy, pancetta most often comes rolled (rotolata) so that the fat and muscle spiral around each other. Pancetta can also be made as a slab (stesa) so that the fat is mostly on one side. Rolled pancetta is normally cut into circular paper-thin slices before being fried, while slab pancetta is usually chopped or diced before being added to a dish. Pancetta adds a distinctive pork flavor to pasta and other dishes, without infusing into them bacon's smokiness. In the U.S., it's a common substitute for guanciale, which is the cured pork cheek that is the traditional base for many classic pastas, like carbonara or all'amatriciana. Recipe: Browse Cookthink's pancetta recipes. Reference: Browse Cookthink's bacon recipes. Reference: How to prep pancetta (Cookthink) Reference: What is guanciale? (Cookthink)

Thumb_2109090132_97b09b1657How to prep pancetta

Thumb_2109090132_97b09b1657How to prep pancetta

The cured italian meat pancetta comes either rolled (rotolata) or flat (stesa). Rolled pancetta is often sold thinly sliced. Flat pancetta comes as a slab. You can use it in any dish that would benefit from an underlying, mild pork flavor. Here's an easy way to prep thin slices of rolled pancetta. First, stack 3-4 slices and roll them up like a cigar. If you want short strips (like lardons), cut the pancetta cigar in half lengthwise. Skip this step if you want the strips to be long. Then slice the cigar crosswise. Toss the pieces around with your hand to separate them. To dice slab pancetta, cut a few slices crosswise as thick or thin as you like. Stack the slices, then slice off and discard any unwanted tough skin. Cut the slices into strips lengthwise. Rotate the strips 90 degrees around and slice them crosswise to finish the dice.

Thumb_8078_Spicy Spaghetti With Tomatoes And Pancetta

Thumb_8078_Spicy Spaghetti With Tomatoes And Pancetta

Doesn't this recipe sound good? It is. If you'd like some ideas about what to eat with it, click on the "goes with..." tab to the left. For the lowdown on ingredients, techniques and tools, click on "related tips."

Thumb_4757_Sauteed Asparagus With Pancetta And Garlic

Thumb_4757_Sauteed Asparagus With Pancetta And Garlic

The crispy fat of the pancetta complements the tender green asparagus without overpowering it. While the lemon brightens all the ingredients, we also like to add a dash of red pepper flakes to highlight the flavors.

Thumb_8670_Lima Beans And Radicchio With Pancetta

Thumb_8670_Lima Beans And Radicchio With Pancetta

This is a dish that might just change your opinion of lima beans from "yuck" to "yum!" Stick to fresh or frozen, instead of canned, and the results are quite delicious.

Thumb_10154_Fig, Pancetta And Butternut Squash Risotto

Thumb_10154_Fig, Pancetta And Butternut Squash Risotto

One of our favorite restaurants, Birmingham's Highland's Bar & Grill, makes a butternut squash and fig risotto that is almost dessert-ish. Using that as a jumping-off point, we added the salty pancetta and roasted the butternut squash for more depth.

Thumb_8375_Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta, Pecorino And Marjoram

Thumb_8375_Butternut Squash Risotto With Pancetta, Pecorino And Marjoram

This is a great take on a classic autumn dish. Pancetta adds meaty richness, marjoram adds woodsy warmth, and pecorino adds a salty tang. Rosemary and oregano would both work well in place of the marjoram.

Thumb_2109090252_21b064fb1cWhat are lardons?

Thumb_2109090252_21b064fb1cWhat are lardons?

Lardons is the French term for small matchstick-cut pieces of bacon or larding fat cut from the belly of pork. They are used to add moisture to lean meats while roasting, or in stews, fricassees, fried dishes, and more. Lardons are often blanched before using to remove excess salt and fat. A main ingredients of Quiche Lorraine, hot fried lardons added to a frisée salad along with a poached egg make a French bistro classic.

Thumb_19243_Five-Spice Chestnut-Squash Soup With Crispy Pancetta

Thumb_19243_Five-Spice Chestnut-Squash Soup With Crispy Pancetta

In this creamy, winter soup, Chinese five-spice powder adds just the right exotic note to the mild sweetness of the chestnuts and butternut squash.

Thumb_guancialeWhat is guanciale?

Thumb_guancialeWhat is guanciale?

Guanciale is Italian cured pork cheek or jowl. It's traditionally used in classic pastas, like spaghetti all carbonara and bucatini all'amatriciana. Because it's largely fat, guanciale has a more seductive pork flavor and delicate texture than cured meat that comes from the belly (like pancetta, which is a common substitute, though the flavor isn't the same). To make guanciale, you rub pork cheeks with some combination of salt, sugar, pepper, herbs and spices and then air dry them for several weeks. If you're feeling ambitious, try making your own. Otherwise, La Quercia, Buon Italia and Salumi Artisan Cured Meats are all good sources. Reference: Guanciale, the magic Roman bacon (FX Cuisine) Reference: How to prep pancetta (Cookthink) Recipe: Fettuccine With Guanciale, Egg And Parmesan (Cookthink)

Thumb_15684_Kale, White Bean And Escarole Soup

Thumb_15684_Kale, White Bean And Escarole Soup

Instead of just kale or escarole, this soup uses both. The combination creates a soup that has more depth and zest. Serve this soup with toasted Italian bread and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Thumb_8707_Fettuccine With Pancetta, Egg And Parmesan

Thumb_8707_Fettuccine With Pancetta, Egg And Parmesan

This is a variation on classic Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. The broad fettuccine enhances the silkiness of the egg-y sauce. Making this with guanciale gives it a more intense porkiness, but we like how the milder flavor of pancetta melds into the sauce.

Btn-next