Pancetta is sometimes called Italian bacon, but that doesn’t do it justice.Pancetta is a cured pork belly that is seasoned with salt, pepper, and assorted spices and rolled into a thick sausage.It should be cooked over medium heat to get rid of some of the fat.If you want to dial back the smoky flavor in a recipe, you can use it interchangeably with bacon.
Step 1: As needed, cube or slice your pancetta.
You can buy pancetta in a sausage shaped roll, thinly sliced, or pre-diced.Thin slices or diced pancetta can be used to cook them.You will have to do a bit of slicing and dicing to cook rolled pancetta.It is possible to cut 0.25 in (0.64 cm) slices from the roll.Cut thick slices and then dice them for 0.25 in cubes.
Step 2: You can put your pancetta in the frying pan.
If you crowd your pan with pancetta, it will end up soggy because of the excess rendered fat.If you want to cook it in batches, choose a large frying pan.None of your pancetta pieces should be touching the pan.It is too crowded if they are.
Step 3: The pan and pancetta should be placed in a warm place.
You can make more of the fat and crisp it without burning it by cooking it in an unheated pan and using a lower heat setting.Aim for any setting from medium-low to medium.If you are cooking multiple batches, use two pans.Allow the pan to cool a bit between batches if you want to remove most of the rendered fat.
Step 4: Cook it until the fat is rendered.
Pance doesn’t take long to become unpleasantly burned even on a lower heat setting.When it is done right for you, use your eyes and nose.The slices need to be cooked for 5 minutes per side.If you are cooking a package of very thin slices, aim for 1-2 minutes per side.0.25 in (0.64 cm) cubes take about 5 minutes to cook and should be stirred around every couple minutes.
Step 5: The paper towel lined plate has the cooked pancetta on it.
The surface fat on the pancetta will be absorbed by the paper towels, which will help it to remain crisp for a little longer.It is ready to be added to salads, pastas, sandwiches, or any number of recipes after cooling for a few seconds.Do not dispose of the pan drippings if they are used in a recipe.
Step 6: Put your pancetta in the water and beat the eggs.
pancetta is 0.25 in (0.64 cm) cubes.In a bowl with a bit of pepper and shredded parmesan cheese, whisk 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs.The water should be boiled to a boil.If you want, add a few pinches of salt to the water.
Step 7: The pancetta can be Crisped in a Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot.
Cook the pancetta in olive oil.Remove the pancetta and leave the fat in the Dutch oven.It will take around 5 minutes for the pancetta cubes to cook.
Step 8: Your pasta needs to be boiled.
Add 1 pound of pasta to the water and cook it until it is a bit more firm than you want.The pasta should be drained of the cooking water.The Italian term for perfectly cooked pasta is al dente.It will take about 7 minutes to get to the desired level of doneness.
Step 9: The pasta needs to be cooked in the Dutch oven.
Place the cooking water in the Dutch oven at a high temperature.Continue to stir the pasta until it cooks to your liking.The pasta will be infused with the Dutch oven fat.
Step 10: The beaten eggs can be used to make a sauce.
While whisking the beaten mixture of 2 whole eggs and 4 egg yolks, add 4 ounces of the warm pasta water.Then stir the pasta with tongs and slowly pour the egg mixture over it.Continue to toss and stir the pasta with the tongs as you add more pasta water to thin the sauce.A small amount of warm liquid is added to eggs.It increases the temperature of the eggs slowly so that they don’t scramble.
Step 11: Put the pancetta in your carbonara.
Add shredded parmesan cheese and pepper to your cooked pancetta cubes.Divide the pasta into large portions.The meal is served with some bread and a salad.Pair it with a grilled chicken breast and some steamed broccoli.Eggs will begin to congeal and get tougher if Carbonara is not eaten immediately.The quality of the leftovers won’t be the same.
Step 12: You can buy it in rolls, slices, or cubes.
If you want the best value and flexibility in how you serve your pancetta, buy it in its original rolled form.You can buy a package of pre-sliced pancetta if you want thinner slices.If you will be using the pancetta as a topping or add-in, consider buying it pre-cubed.There are many delis and supermarkets where you can buy pancetta.It will be more expensive to buy authentic Italian-made pancetta in the US, Canada, or elsewhere.If it is worth the extra expense, let you taste it.
Step 13: You can choose pancetta that is pink, damp, and marbled with fat.
The color and texture of Pancetta should be similar to quality raw bacon.The fat should not be yellow or gray.Don’t buy it if it looks watery, greasy, or dried out.If you can smell the pancetta, look for off odors.Don’t buy it if it stinks.
Step 14: When you are ready to use it, keep it in the fridge.
Wrap a slab of pancetta in wax paper and put it in a zip-close bag, or keep it sealed in its original container.If it starts to look yellow or gray, smells rancid, or is past its marked expiration date, don’t use it.You can keep pancetta for up to 6 months if you freeze it.