Pancetta is an Italian form of bacon which is created using belly pork; cured using salt and black pepper, pancetta can also be cured with a mix of additional spices. Adding spices contributes to both the curing and flavor of Pancetta, creating mild or hot versions. Like many Italian cured meat products it can be used in a number of different traditional Italian dishes, including pasta, pizzas and a whole range of soups and stews. It’s a great snack dish or equally effective used as an ingredient in a main meal.
Linguine with Pancetta:
For a light supper dish (or lunch) combine mild pancetta with linguine. Heat your oven to 420c and in the meantime combine crushed garlic with a good quality olive oil. Dice the pancetta into small cubes and mix this into the oil and garlic mixture; while the linguine cooks (around 10 minutes) place the pancetta, oil and garlic in the oven. Drain the linguine and simply add to the pancetta, tossing to mix the ingredients. Top with grated parmesan and fresh parsley.
Spicy tomato soup with Pancetta:
For those who prefer things hot and spicy a hot pancetta can add a layer of depth to any recipe. Spicy tomato soup is a perfect combination with pancetta; for the soup fry off onions, add chopped fresh (or tinned) tomatoes, vegetable stock and flavor with hot paprika, garlic and chopped chili (or chili powder). Dice the hot pancetta and fry in olive oil, with a little added garlic. Add this to the soup a few minutes before it is ready to serve and sprinkle with oregano, adding salt and pepper to taste.