I love pancetta. It adds so much to any dish that you make with it. The rich, savory flavor of it compliments and intensifies any food that it's cooked with.
This recipe for pancetta-wrapped scallops is incredibly simple, but very impressive. There are only three ingredients in it. I serve it as an appetizer either on its own or over a bed of sauteed greens. This recipe serves two or four.
Rinse and pat dry:
4 large scallops
Leaving the flat ends open, wrap the scallops with:
4 slices pancetta (one slice per scallop)
You can use any style of pancetta. I uncurl it if I'm using a rolled pancetta. If sliced thin, the pancetta will stick to itself at the end of the wrapping process.
Heat a cast-iron pan or another pan that can sear your scallops nicely (not a non-stick pan) on medium-high. When it's hot enough to make a splash of water sizzle, add:
1-2 Tbsp olive oil or butter
The fat should heat up right away and become a thin liquid in the pan. Tilt the pan to spread it around. Place your wrapped scallops in the pan, flat side down. Sear for about 2 minutes, or until well-browned. With tongs, carefully turn each scallop over to sear the other side. Once all scallops are flipped, turn off the heat on the burner. let the scallops cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes, or just until they start to firm up slightly. Serve.
For other recipes involving beautiful pancetta, see my recipe for Traditional Italian Pasta Carbonara and Pancetta Rolls Stuffed With Goat Cheese.
Need a cast iron pan? Search online at Sur La Table (affiliate).