pan·​cet·​ta (ˌ)pan-ˈche-tə How to pronounce pancetta (audio)
: unsmoked bacon used especially in Italian cuisine

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Vigil’s lard imparts a distinct flavor because it’s rendered from pancetta cured for 24 hours in a brine laced with juniper, bay leaf, and a mix of peppers. Katie Kelly Bell, Robb Report, 22 Apr. 2023 So many Roman dishes are focused on the savory, and elemental, intersection of Pecorino, Parmigiano and choice pig fat: think guanciale—pig’s cheek—or pancetta. Liza B. Zimmerman, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022 The new project is the first restaurant from artist Tina Gasparyan, and tops pizzas with pancetta, pear, taleggio and tarragon; sausage, fontina, baby kale and Calabrian chile; ’nduja with mozzarella and roasted peppers; and shiitake, cremini, fontina, truffle oil and parmesan. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 24 Apr. 2023 However, carbonara exists in endless variations and is also commonly made using parmigiano, pancetta, bacon, cream, butter and even garlic. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 22 Mar. 2023 Many Italian stracottos and brasatos begin with pancetta. Julia Moskin, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2023 One night, there could be agnolotti, a miniature envelope of pasta stuffed with rabbit and baby leeks, layered in cream sauce and sprinkled with pancetta; on another, short twists of casarecce bathed with fennel sausage sugo and pecorino romano. Dallas News, 25 Oct. 2022 For entrees, there’s fried catfish with black-eyed peas, collards, sauteed crawfish and a pancetta-lemon aioli; shrimp and grits with roasted corn, sauteed kale and summer tomato ragout; and the Chef Harvey Burger, topped with gruyere, housemade dijonaise and caramelized onions on onion brioche. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 3 Apr. 2023 At root a home cook happy with simple meals, Duguid recommends the potato, Brussels sprouts and salt pork (or pancetta) dish in the book as an easy starting point, or bucatini with bottarga. Ivy Lerner-frank, Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pancetta.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Italian, from diminutive of pancia belly, paunch, from Latin pantic-, pantex

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pancetta was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near pancetta

Cite this Entry

“Pancetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!