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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_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_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_carbonaraWhat does carbonara mean?

Thumb_carbonaraWhat does carbonara mean?

Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but occasionally linguine or bucatini) is a family of Italian pasta dishes based on eggs, parmesan, pancetta or guanciale and black pepper. Carbonaro means charcoal-burner in Italian, but the connection is unclear. Some food historians believe the dish may have been popular among charcoal makers working in the Apennine Mountains; or perhaps it is called carbonara simply because of the specks of black pepper it is seasoned with.

Thumb_2109090132_97b09b1657Root Source: Pancetta

Thumb_2109090132_97b09b1657Root Source: Pancetta

what you should know Often called "Italian bacon," pancetta is different from its American counterpart in one important way. Bacon is usually smoked (and only sometimes cured), while pancetta is pork belly that is cured and spiced but not smoked. roll vs. slab Pancetta can be prepared in two ways: as a roll (rotolata), in which the fat and muscle spiral around each other; and as a slab (stesa), in which the fat is almost entirely on one side. make and prep your own Rolled pancetta is most often sliced paper thin. With slab pancetta, you often get a slightly thicker slice you can then dice. (If you want to cure, roll and age your own pork belly, check out Chow's step-by-step guide on making pancetta.) if you lack guanciale Pancetta is often used in place of  guanciale, which is the less commonly available cured pork cheek called for in traditional pasta dishes like carbonara and all'amatriciana.  if you lack pancetta If you can't find pancetta, you can use bacon in its place. Do you need to blanch the bacon before using it? Depends on how you want the finished dish to taste.   what you need It's more focused on lardons than pancetta, but Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery is our favorite of Jane Grigson's contributions to the world of food reference. More recently, author and blogger Michael Ruhlman has updated the world of charcuterie with the appropriately titled Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing. In Pig Perfect, Peter Kaminsky goes on a pilgrimage in search of the world's best cuts of pork. He mostly succeeds. what you do Tender, bitter and salty, this recipe for lima beans and radicchio with pancetta is Italianesque comfort food. Not as comforting, though, as this fettuccine with pancetta, egg and parmesan, a variation of classic pasta carbonara. Another classic winter dish: Italian cabbage and white bean soup. This hearty lentil soup with chorizo and potatoes combines the mild spiciness of the Spanish sausage with the porky richness of pancetta. Even though it's out of season, we've seen some beautiful asparagus lately. Food miles be damned: we've been eating a lot of this sautéed asparagus with pancetta and garlic.

Thumb_2105947606_910ed56fb6What does all'amatriciana mean?

Thumb_2105947606_910ed56fb6What does all'amatriciana mean?

All'amatriciana is an Italian pasta sauce made with guanciale or pancetta, tomatoes, and dried chile peppers. Although it is often associated with Rome, it actually gets its name from its hometown of Amatrice in northern Lazio. This piquant red sauce can be eaten with spaghetti or bucatini. Romans -- who call it Matriciana either because of their regional accent or to strip it of its ties to Amatrice -- add onions and eat it with rigatoni. All'amatriciana is thought to be a variation on a dish called pasta alla gricia, a shepherd's favorite made with guanciale and sausage, freshly ground pepper and sprinkled with Pecorino Romano. The sausage was snubbed and the tomatoes were added in Amatrice, although apparently restaurants there still offer "Amatriciana bianca" or "rossa" depending on whether or not you want tomatoes.