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What to do with a big piece of Pancetta?

I can do a nice Pasta e Figioli but looking for something else.

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  1. What about a carbonara or amatriciana?

    1. Spaghetti Carbonara. Creamy and delish.

      1. Several uses come to mind:
        fried bits in a salad
        a base for several red pasta sauces
        pizza or crostini topping
        sauteed with garlic & a variety of vegetables....peas, greens

        1. agree on the carbonara or amatriciana recs.

          Dice and brown, and stir into cooked polenta

          Use in place of bacon in a frisee aux lardon salad.

          1. All of the suggestions given are great ideas, but don't feel as thought you need to "get rid of" it. Slice it thickly or dice it and freeze it. You can pull out a slice to cut up, or a handful of cubes, and use it as needed.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Sallie

              Thank you, it really is a big hunk and since I'm watching my fat and calories, this will work.

              1. re: Sallie

                I confess to not being patient enough to do even, small dice. So a 4oz. package of Trader Joe's quarter-inch diced pancetta is always in my freezer. It's easy to loosen a few tablespoons' worth when braising greens, making home fries, or for pasta dishes.

              2. Get a nice BIG beefsteak tomato and some lettuce and make some BLTS! :)
                Amatriciana is my absolute favorite for pancetta. Giada makes a really good one.

                5 Replies
                1. re: mmuch

                  How do you cook the pancetta for that - in slices? Just like bacon? Sounds wonderful.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Yes, just like bacon. I leave it in rounds, actually. It works better for a sandwich, I think, than strips of bacon do. It's sublime!

                    1. re: mmuch

                      That is very clever - just slices of the rounds of pancetta. Will try it.

                        1. re: qianning

                          works great on a sandwich or added to a burger and since the cheapest pancetta is better than the cheapest bacon it is hard to go wrong.

                  2. Thanks all, Love all the ideas and we're going to wonderful outside concert tonight (John Hiatt) and packing a picnic. I'm thinking a nice BLT roll up with loads of lettuce & fresh tomato. I'm going to freeze some to make that red sauce some time later.

                    1. I stumbled across a Nigella recipe that calls for cubed browned pancetta to which you add caramelized onions, ground lamb, red lentils and tomato. It is fantastic and literally takes 15 to make.
                      I make it often now, it is total comfort food, but not something I feel bad about eating, and especially good when it's a little chilly out.
                      I've never given Nigella recipes a second thought, but this one made me go out a buy one her books, surprisingly.
                      Also, freezing in small pieces is excellent advice.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: rabaja

                        Rabaja, is this Nigella recipe available on food network or chowhound? If not, would you post it? Sounds wonderful. Thanks.

                        1. re: rexsreine

                          It's from Nigella Express, and if you go to the Food Network site and search for Rapid Ragu you'll get it. (Sorry, I am hopeless at the whole put in a link thing!).
                          It is super easy, especially if you have caramelized onions on hand. I did because I'd made them using a Flexitarian Table recipe, which yielded quite a bit. Now I try to keep them around all the time, and they keep a while, longer than the one week Nigella suggests.
                          Also, the recipe calls for green lentils, but I swear on the show she used red so that's what I do. I also think the red lentils cook faster than the green, and this only cooks about 20 min, but you choose. The red ones are delicious though, and have become a staple in our pantry because of this dish.
                          Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

                          1. re: rabaja

                            ETA: we don't use the cheese at the end. I think I added it the first time we made it, but it is delicious without it and now I never think to do it. I've always thought feta would be a good addition, instead of the cheddar, but so far haven't done it.

                            1. re: rabaja

                              Whenever onions are on sale, I buy a big bag and spend an afternoon making caramelized onions - a pound yields a cup. Actually, I remove some of the onion when it is just golden. I freeze all of it in smaller containers/bags, so there's always both sauteed and caramelized on hand for anything that needs doctoring up, and for short-cutting cooking time when making dises involving sauteed onion.