From the Italian word pancia meaning belly, pancetta is very similar to bacon. The pork belly is rubbed with salt and spices, then cured for several weeks. Pancetta can be bought as straight pancetta with the rind and generous fat layer still attached; or what I'm more used to buying, rolled pancetta with the rind and some of the fat removed, then tightly rolled as in salami. While pancetta is very similar to bacon and sometimes called Italian bacon, it isn't usually smoked. At the deli, I ask for slices of pancetta around 1/2-inch thick so I can dice or chop the pancetta accordingly, but I also buy it pre-packaged in thin slices for recipes that call for the pancetta to be wrapped around a meat or vegetable. Pancetta adds incredible flavor to these usually mundane green beans.
Pancetta Green Beans make a colorful and delicious accompaniment to a sizzlingly hot grilled steak, pork or chicken. The beans are available year round, prep and cooking time are short and the beans can be served hot or at room temperature. The recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's recent top selling cookbook Around My French Table is the pick of French Fridays with Dorie, a group dedicated to cook every recipe in this wonderful book of French family cooking. If you would like this recipe, buy the book and or join the fun.
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