Pancetta is an Italian form of bacon. It is pork belly that has been salt cured and spiced, and dried for about three months (but usually not smoked). There are many varieties and each part of Italy produces its own type. In Corsica, it is considered a regional flavour.
Pancetta can be rolled, the most common type (as in the photograph), or straight (with all the fat on one side).
When served on its own, the rolled pancetta is presented in very thin slices. More often it is used to flavour other dishes, especially pasta sauces. Recipes which include pancetta are described as all’amatriciana, for the town of Amatrice.
Last modified on 6 January 2007, at 19:23