Pancetta, Prosciutto and Bacon

As a foodie and a blogger, I routinely read other food blogs. One of the kings of the genre out there is The Kitch’n. Started in 2007, they produce a wealth of information about cooking, the kitchen and all things food. In 2009, they posted a great article about the difference between Pancetta, Prosciutto and Bacon.

When I started cooking in earnest, I certainly knew bacon. I think I’ve eaten my weight in bacon several times over. I had not had much experience with prosciutto and even less with pancetta. I think I first had prosciutto wrapped around asparagus and grilled. Shortly after that I purchased a package at my local deli and fell in love with the salty perfection that is prosciutto.

Pancetta took me a bit longer to use. I think, in fact, it was the recipe below that got me there. A little tougher to find, but well worth it. It is bacon’s closest cousin and has a similar taste profile.

As The Kitch’n demonstrates here is the key differences:

  • Bacon is pork belly, cured and cool smoked. It must be cooked to eat.
  • Pancetta is also pork belly, cured but not smoked. It also must be cooked.
  • Prosciutto is from the hind leg, dry cured and able to eat once the curing is done.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

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The salty pancetta is the perfect match for the caramelized, roasted sprouts.

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A few veggies, butter and oil, spices and pancetta.

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Fry the diced pancetta.

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Saute the shallot in butter.

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Mix the veggies with oil and spices and then roast.

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Put it all together.

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And eat these great sprouts!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

cook 30 min ∙ makes 4 servings ∙ difficulty Easy ∙ source


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound sliced pancetta, diced
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 8 baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat oil over medium heat in a roasting pan or large skillet. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown and crisp. Remove the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the shallots to the pan and cook until soft. Add the Brussels sprouts and potatoes and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven until the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown. Remove the vegetables from the oven and stir in the butter and lemon juice. Transfer to a platter and top with the reserved pancetta.

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Categories: Baking3, Fried, Pork2, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetable4

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Pancetta, Prosciutto and Bacon”

  1. October 10, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    I used to live in Brussels, and can happily confirm and testify that the blessed sprouts and pig fat is about as traditional, hard core, and old school as you can possibly get, as well as being obscenely delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. October 10, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

    Brussels sprouts and pancetta are a marriage made in heaven! I made a very similar recipe for Christmas last year and it was the only veg that was requested for seconds and to go completely. The lemon to finish really brightens the dish and cuts the pig fat.


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