How to Cut Pancetta

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The bold and salty pork flavors of pancetta enhance just about anything you cook it with, including pastas, soups and cooked greens. Pancetta is the Italian version of bacon. Both are cut from pork belly; pancetta is seasoned and cured, but not smoked. You can typically find it in both rolled form and rectangular slabs as well as presliced. Depending on how you plan to use the pancetta, use a sharp chef's knife to dice rolled or flat slabs of pancetta into cubes or to cut pancetta slices into short strips.

Things You'll Need

  • Clean cutting board
  • Sharp chef's knife

Dicing Slab Pancetta

  • Place the pancetta slab on a clean cutting board. Cut the slab into even-sized slices, using a sharp chef's knife. You can make the slices as thick as you want.

  • Lay a few of the pancetta slices on top of each other, then cut across them lengthwise to make even-sized strips.

  • Turn the strips a quarter turn and cut across the strips at even intervals to create diced pancetta cubes.

Cutting Rolled Pancetta

  • Place the rolled pancetta on a clean cutting board and slice off both ends. Set them aside.

  • Slice the rest of the roll into slices at least 1/2-inch thick. Lay two or three slices at a time on top of each and cut them into equal-sized strips.

  • Cut across the slices you just made to dice the pancetta. Repeat with the rest of the slices.

  • Lay the two rounded end pieces on their flat sides and cut off just enough of the top to give you a flat surface. Dice the end pieces by slicing each one into even slices, then cutting across the slices.

Cutting Thin-Sliced Pancetta

  • Lay several very thin slices of pancetta on top of each other.

  • Roll up the slices to create a log shape, like a rolled cigar.

  • Slice down the center of the rolled pancetta slices, then cut crosswise down the length of the pancetta to create flat, short strips of pancetta.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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