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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_13221_Bacon-Infused Lavash

Thumb_13221_Bacon-Infused Lavash

If you're making bacon, think twice about tossing the fat. Smoky bacon fat both flavors the lavash and gives it an almost biscuit-y texture -- flaky and reminiscent of old-school Southern food. Read more about this recipe at the Cookthink blog.

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_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_9257_Bacon And Kale Gratin

Thumb_9257_Bacon And Kale Gratin

Red Russian Kale is gorgeous, with its deep emerald-green leaves and red ribs, but like most grown-up kale, it’s most tender when it’s cooked a long time. Read more about this recipe at hogwash.

Thumb_10137_Risotto With Bacon, Asparagus And Rosemary

Thumb_10137_Risotto With Bacon, Asparagus And Rosemary

The earthiness of fresh asparagus is enhanced by woodsy rosemary and rich salty bacon in this risotto. Tangy pecorino rounds out the taste and flavor spectrum. Try substituting pancetta or prosciutto for the bacon, and marjoram or oregano for the rosemary.

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_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_16561_Yellow Split Pea Soup With Autumn Squash And Kale

Thumb_16561_Yellow Split Pea Soup With Autumn Squash And Kale

Farmers market tomatoes, squash, rosemary and kale make fine flavorings for a split pea soup.  Read more about this recipe in Fresh From the Farmer's Market.

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.

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_21605_Minestra Di Pasta E Piselli

Thumb_21605_Minestra Di Pasta E Piselli

You can easily make this Italian pasta and pea soup vegetarian by omitting the pancetta and using vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.