Pancetta is made from pork belly that has been salt cured and often spiced, and is a popular addition to risottos, stews and soups for the salty depth of flavour it brings to a dish. It is generally served sold either in cubes, making a great substitute for bacon lardons, or in thin slices. When sliced, pancetta is commonly used to wrap meat or vegetables in a similar way to prosciutto or bacon.
For a hearty, warming meal try William Drabble’s turkey leg casserole recipe, incorporating both pancetta and wild mushrooms. Dominic Chapman’s beef stew recipe, served with dumplings and root vegetables, is enhanced by salty pancetta pieces, while Marcus Wareing’s pea and pancetta risotto demonstrates that sometimes simple dishes truly are the most comforting. Proving that pancetta has its place in daintier dishes too, Bruno Loubet’s Gorgonzola canapé recipe pairs the flavours of pancetta, prunes and blue cheese.