Mmm, bacon. If your mouth waters at the mere mention of it, you already know that it’s a ludicrously tasty, yet often overlooked, pizza topping. In fact, you’ve probably had your fair share of bacon pizzas, and which means you’re eager to add new porky pies to your repertoire.
We’d like to introduce you to pancetta, because it just might be your new go-to pizza topping.
What is pancetta?
Pancetta is salted pork (“salumi,” in lingua italiana) cut from the belly and cured. Sounds an awful lot like bacon, right? The differences between the two are subtle, but they’ll be well appreciated by a connoisseur of crisp such as yourself.
Pancetta is cured with lots of salt, but gets an extra infusion of flavor by way of aromatics and spices. Oftentimes, it’s a blend that includes garlic, thyme, bay leaf, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and juniper berries. Bacon, meanwhile, has a simpler curing mix anchored by salt and sugar. Afterwards, bacon is cold-smoked. Pancetta, on the other hand, ends with the cure.
Bacon and pancetta are also sliced differently. That’s not just a minor stylistic choice, it’s a difference that you can clearly taste. Pancetta is sliced thin, then cubed, to punctuate pasta dishes and give you a greater pork-to-pizza crust ratio.
Fear not: Your pancetta isn’t raw. It’s fully cooked, thanks to the miracle of curing and a turn in the blazing hot oven atop your pizza. In a matter of minutes, your pancetta pizza is ready for your consumption and enjoyment.
What other toppings can I put on my pancetta pizza?
You’re asking the right questions and, frankly, we like your style. Pancetta shines on pizza all by itself, but mo’ toppings = mo’ better. You can customize your pancetta pie any way you’d like, but you might want to consider:
So, you’re ready to try a new twist on bacon, but you still want that seductively smoky flavor. No prob. WIth smoked mozzarella and pancetta you get the best of both worlds, Hannah Montana-style.
Garlic and pancetta were basically made for each other. The hot oil given off by melty cheese already makes garlic sing, but you can dial it up to eleven with pancetta’s rendered fat.
The perfect topping combination for your pizza lies in textural contrast, just as much as flavor. Soft strips of sautéed onions are the perfect counterpart for crispy bits of pancetta, and you’ll be glad you played matchmaker on this one.
Congratulations, your pancetta pizza now doubles as a salad pizza! (Editor’s note: No, the inclusion of spinach does not make this a salad pizza, but it is a healthy veggie that can balance out the spectacularly salty flavor of pancetta.)
Yes, clams. Seriously. In New Haven, pizza with bacon & clams is the jam. Same applies here with bacon’s beautiful cousin, pancetta.
Find a perfect pancetta pizza on Slice.
Pancetta isn’t offered as a pizza topping at every shop, but it’s not too hard to find if you know where to look. With the Slice app, you can find and order the best pizza near you. Top yours with pancetta plus garlic and spinach (or whatever combo you’re craving) with just a couple of quick taps and start snacking on your new favorite pie.