I have fallen in love with pancetta. I still love the smoky goodness of bacon, but sometimes the smokiness can overpower a dish. Pancetta is basically bacon without the smoky flavor, which brings another profile to the table.
I have just begun cooking with it, and have just started to discover the possibilities of this other kind of bacon. Mostly I am using it with vegetables. Not too bad a start, I'd say.
It's pretty basic. First I rendered the pancetta in a large skillet and let it get nice and crispy. Then I added diced shallots and cooked them until they were translucent. Next I added chopped baby bok choy, a little salt (allowing for the saltiness of the pancetta) and pepper, and cooked it until the bok choy was just starting to wilt. I added about a fourth of a cup of chicken stock, lowered the heat, covered the pan, and let it steam for about five minutes. After I cooked down most of the liquid, I added just a touch of cream.
And that's it. Takes about half an hour and goes with just about anything.