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"Kashering" Italian Recipes

I'd be interested in what people substitute in Italian recipes for pancetta. Many of us will have nothing to compare it to, but may have lots of experience otherwise.

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  1. I haven't tried it yet, but in Ellie Kreigers new book she has a recipe for Smoked Turkey Wrapped Asparagus.

    I think this type of recipe usually uses bacon or pancetta. You may want to try it. You can read the great reviews it got on the following web page.


    You can also try going to the deli or butcher and purchasing Kosher Beef Fry.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sig

      Smoked turkey or beef-fry is good when making a meat recipe.

      Sauteeing up some kalamata or similar olives is good when doing dairy.
      You remove the olives and leave the salty/flavorful oil.

      1. re: sig

        I've made this a few times and it always comes out really good. I've also wrapped the asparagus with pastrami.

      2. Litelife's soy "Smart 'Bacon" is actually pretty close. And it's pareve (OK), so you won't have to work around a number of recipes that also require dairy.

        1. I just want to thank the original poster and everyone else. I have been wondering about this a lot lately and now have some good suggestions.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cappucino

            Pancetta is cured but not smoked, so it's generally frowned upon to "replace" it with something smoked.

            I don't know what's cured on the kosher market, though, aside from sausages and salamis.

          2. Thanks for all of the helpful suggestions and please keep them coming. And if GanEden is still posting I'd appreciate his thoughts as they are usually very helpful.

            1. I cook a lot of Italian and although I have eaten my share of treyf, I choose not to sub for the pancetta - I skip it. In soups I add parmesan rind which adds that je ne sais quoi. In meat dishes sometimes I use kosher sausage or beef fry. Occasionally I heat a pan over high heat, add olive oil and just as it begins to smoke add a meaty mushroom variety. The mushrooms fry up crispy and when salted are lovely. Although none of these are a sub for pancetta, they add a little extra oomph and that fifth taste sensation - umami.

              3 Replies
                1. I've had a lot of luck with duck bresaola. It means taking a few weeks to let it cure, but once you start thinking of it as a kitchen staple, it just means that you keep a couple breasts hanging in the fridge, so there's always some ready. I used the recipe here: http://www.cuisine.com.au/recipe/home.... It appeared to me that beef bresaola, which is more widely available at grocery stores, isn't fatty enough, but I haven't tried a comparison.

                  1. One of the nice things about living in Israel is the availablility of things we never had kosher in the U.S. (I don't mean McDonald's or Pizza Hut). Kibbutz Tirat Tzvi has one of the leading factories for sausages and makes a kosher "pancetta" which, I believe, is made of beef.

                    2 Replies
                      1. Many will tell you smoked meats of various kinds. Pancetta is Italian bacon, but it is salt cured and not smoked. Therefore, a piece of fatty corned beef or other salt cured meat would probably be a better substitute, since it is not smoked. The thing is, corned beef uses various spices like cloves and ginger to provide that typical flavor of corned beef, so maybe a very cheap, more neutral corned beef would be better than a premium one with lots of flavor, because I don't think pancetta is spiced the same way. That comes from having never tasted it. Perhaps I'll ask Todd Aarons next time I see him, if I can remember.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ganeden


                          As I recall, there is some overlap in the types of spices between corned beef and pancetta but the profile for pancetta is more like this: fennel, nutmeg, peppercorn, hot peppers and garlic.