Given the title of this blog, it’s no surprise that I love bacon. But sometimes I like to cheat on bacon with its classier sibling, pancetta. The cured Italian bacon makes me all sorts of happy when it’s on a menu at a restaurant, or available at the grocery store.
The thing I love most about pancetta is how versatile it is. Because the meat is cured, you can eat it raw out of the package (something I have been known to do while shopping – I’m a grocery store snacker). But you can also cook it or fry it to get that salty, crispy goodness that you would with bacon.
One of my favourite ways to cook the thinly sliced, round, delicious meat is to make crisps out of it. You can use these crisps in a whole lot of recipes (or just eat them straight up…that’s not gross…right?)
How to Make Pancetta Crisps:
Preheat oven to 450F. Place pancetta slices on baking sheet (rimmed, if you have one). Put in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning them over once midway through (until they are crisp).
It’s that easy! Once you do that, there are so many possibilities…
Goat cheese + Pear with Pancetta Crisps: the goat cheese cuts the saltiness of the pancetta nicely, and the pear adds a sweet hint for an amazing hors d’oeurves.
Pancetta crisps also go nicely as a garnish on a cheese or spinach risotto. I saw this for the first time at one of my favourite restaurants in Toronto, Five Doors North (a larger post coming about this gem at a later date) and absolutely fell in love with the dish.
Finally, I love the idea of pancetta eggs benedict – toasted English muffin + pancetta crisp + poached egg + homemade hollandaise is my idea of a wonderful start to a Sunday morning.
Enjoy the crispy, salty tastiness!