Pancetta is often called Italian bacon. That’s an apt description, for sure. After all, it is pork belly.
But because pancetta is cured with salt and spices, it does have a distinctly different flavor. But you can use bacon here, if you want.
With today’s recipe for White Beans With Pancetta, the simple addition of a bay leaf heightens the spices of the pancetta and allows them to shine through. This is a sophisticated side dish that pairs well with just about anything. It is packed with protein, so a leafy green salad can easily round out your meal.
If you want to be authentically Italian: Just before serving, drizzle the beans with extra-virgin olive oil and top with Italian parsley. Ah, buono!
WHITE BEANS WITH PANCETTA
(15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans
ounces pancetta, diced
cup diced onion
cup dry white wine
teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Drain and rinse the beans.
In a large pot, add pancetta and onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat until lightly browned. Add the wine and water, and scrape the bottom of the pot to loosen any brown bits. Add drained beans, bay leaf and pepper. Cover pot partially with lid and simmer on low for 5 to 10 minutes or until ready to serve. Season with salt, if desired. Makes 6 servings.