Pork Belly Pancetta

October 26, 2020

Pancetta is the Italian cousin of bacon, made by curing pork belly with salt and aromatics, but not smoked. It is typically made with curing salt or sodium nitrite, which gives it its dark pink hue. This recipe takes a non-traditional route, making it easier to create the flavors of pancetta with just salt, herbs, and time. We love thinly slicing it or cubing it and frying it in a pan until crispy to flavor dishes like roasted Brussels sprouts, sauteed greens, or pasta. 


1 lb heritage pork belly, skinless or skin-on 

1 ½ tsp pepper

1 tsp paprika

1 bay leaf

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp rosemary

2 Tbsp salt

1 tsp brown sugar

1 garlic clove, minced


  1. In a spice grinder, combine first the spices until finely ground. Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in kosher salt, brown sugar, and garlic.
  2. Place pork belly in a dish large enough so it will lie flat, drying it with a paper towel. Coat generously on all sides with spice mixture. Place in a plastic bag for 5 to 7 says. Drain any liquid that might have given off liquid and cover and refrigerate for 5 to 7 more days. 
  3. Rinse scraps and pat dry. Take care to blot excess moisture. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 weeks, or freeze for several months for longer storage.
Recipe by Local Roots team member Phoebe Tran

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