pancetta salted belly of pork, an important ingredient in Italian cookery which is fairly closely related to bacon, and also to the Spanish tocino. It exists in many regional variations, with different periods of maturing, different aromatics, etc. The type called guanciale, which is taken from the ‘cheek’, in front of the belly, is very popular in C. Italy, especially Lazio.
Pancetta occurs in several famous pasta dressings, e.g. Spaghetti alla carbonara (see spaghetti).
© the Estate of Alan Davidson 1999, 2006, 2014 © in the Editor’s contribution to the second and third editions, Oxford University Press 2006, 2014.