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Monday 13 February 2017

Pancetta : What is it : How Can I use It

Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong, slightly salty flavour, is fairly fatty and comes either smoked or unsmoked.

You can buy pancetta either as straight rashers (which tend to be smoked), as round slices cut from a roll (which tend to be unsmoked), or diced. If you need diced pancetta, it's cheaper to buy rashers and cut them yourself, although the cubes won't be as thick if you do this.

All year round.

Choose the best:
Fresh pancetta should look pink and damp - avoid anything that's discoloured or dry. The fat should be white or creamy coloured, not yellow or greasy, and the rind should be thin and elastic. Avoid pancetta that is wet, slimy or smells unpleasant.

Prepare it:
Whether you buy your pancetta in rashers or cubed, it's ready to use.

Store it:
Keep pancetta in the fridge, away from any other meat and food that will be eaten raw. Never exceed the consume-by date printed on the package. Open the original pack only when you're going to use it, and then keep the pancetta wrapped in cling-film or in a sealed container.

Loose pancetta rashers should be tightly wrapped in greaseproof paper and kept in the fridge; they will last for up to three weeks. Loose diced pancetta should be kept in a sealed container.

Cook it:
Fry (cubed, 5 minutes; sliced, 2-3 minutes each side). Add to pasta sauces, soups, stews, quiches, stuffing; serve with crusty bread and a selection of cold meats; use to top pizza.


Try bacon or ham.

The above words and picture from article

Some recipe suggestions using Pancetta:

Loin of Pork Pot Roast with celeriac, shallots and pancetta see here

Cream of Celeriac Soup which can be served with crispy pancetta see here 

Broccoli Bouquets Wrapped In Pancetta Served With Cod see here

Italian Style Braised Celery With Onion, Pancetta and Tomatoes see here

Coq au vin, with diced pancetta, served with celeriac mash see here

Soft-boiled eggs with pancetta avocado soldiers, great LCHF food see here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you.
If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Jo said...

Pancetta is something we've never used, though we do use bacon quite often, usually smoked. Is there much of a difference between pancetta and bacon?

Rose said...

I've never used pancetta in cooking before, but I remember the first time I made something with proscuitto. We had had a delicious quiche with proscuitto at my daughter's, and I wanted to try it at home. I had no idea whether it had to be cooked first, so to be on the safe side, I did:)

Christine said...

I've used it but didn't know much about it, thanks for the info.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it does look like bacon. I have never cooked with it, maybe someday. Thanks for sharing. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week ahead!

Lowcarb team member said...

Reply to Jo:
She asks "Is there much of a difference between pancetta and bacon?"

'there are only slight differences between bacon and pancetta. The main difference is that bacon is smoked while pancetta is not. Due to the large size of pancetta normally it carries a more salty taste than bacon.'
More details and useful information can be found here

Speaking personally I always find that Pancetta is thicker cut and you can buy it ready diced which can be a bonus, especially for casserole / one pot type dishes.

All the best Jan

Lowcarb team member said...

Bacon, Pancetta & Prosciutto:-
Since writing this article and comments received about Bacon, Pancetta and Prosciutto readers may find this article an interesting read ...

'the differences between bacon, prosciutto, and pancetta'

All the best Jan

Lisa said...

I use the cubed pancetta sometimes, it works well with chicken and rice dishes.
Hope you have a good week.
Lisa x

Tom said... to me.

Lisabella Russo said...

I'd never heard of this meat, as a vegetarian it wouldn't be for me, but it's interesting that it's out there.

Revrunner said...

I've been "cured" of my pancetta habit. :-)

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jan,

Pancetta is so delicious and keeps food moist if wrapped in it. Husband cooked a little venison roast and wrapped in pancetta and it was so good.
Hope you have a lovely week

riitta k said...

Looks delicious but I don't eat much of pancetta or bacon. I prefer smoked salmon. It tastes sooo good and has good oils too :) Happy Valentine's Day!

Magic Love Crow said...

I have heard of this meat, but I have never tried it!