Pancetta is salumi made of pork belly meat. It is salted pork meat. Pancetta offers a unique and amazing taste to soups, stuffed dishes, and even sauces. Pancetta is an Italian food which is a salted meat flavor with seasonings, and then it is dried by curing. It has a similar appearance and taste and that is why many people confuse it with the Italian bacon. There are numerous pancetta recipes and adding this cured meat in pasta tastes amazing. There are different shapes of pancetta, and the most common comes in the shape of sausages. Others also come in solid or straight shapes. Pancetta is sold in many Italian stores and the best thing that you can do is to buy it in large quantities. It can last up to seven months when refrigerated. Cut pancetta into slices and keep them in separate bags in the freezer. Some of the available substitutes for pancetta include the following.
Bacon is also an example of a cured meat that can work in the place of pancetta. The only difference between pancetta and American bacon is the method of seasoning and the methods adopted for the curing process. Bacon has a smoky taste because it is smoked. You can remove this smoky taste by boiling the meat for around three minutes to make it taste exactly like pancetta.
This is the best substitute to use in place of the pancetta. It is not smoked and does not have a smoky taste like bacon. Prosciuttos’ are found in stores and are usually packet in thin transparent slices. Cook prosciutto lightly and then add paste directly. Prosciuttos taste more like pork and it is even perfect when you add uncooked prosciutto to get rich pork flavor in pasta.
3. Vegetarian substitutes
This substitute is for individuals who do not eat pork or any other meat. You can use full-flavored olives as perfect substitutes for pancetta. The good news is that these vegetarian substitutes are salted like pancetta and adds meatiness to a dish. You will not get the same flavor and taste as that of pork, but adding olives work miracles in the preparation of Italian foods. You can also substitute pancetta with some vegetarian crispy bacon strips.
4. Other options
There is no need to worry if you do not have any of the above substitutes. You can use smoked ham, salted pork, smoked sausages, and pork tocino. However, it is important that you pay keen attention to the quantity and the flavor of the cured meat.
There are a variety of pancetta substitutes that taste more like pancetta itself. These substitutes are rich in flavor, tasty, and juicy. Furthermore, prosciuttos and bacon are commonly used substitutes in place of pancetta. However, people who do not love meat and are pure vegetarians can choose to use olives in place of bacon, pancetta, and prosciuttos. Vegetarian substitutes are also salted like pancetta.