I have a question about the ingredient "pancetta, diced small (1 cup)" on the recipe "Sweet Potato and Pancetta Gratin" from cnevertz. Can I substitute bacon for the pancetta? If so, should I cook it first?
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You could easily swap in bacon! I would cut it into cubes and then briefly crisp it up in a skillet -- just until halfway cooked, since it will crisp up further in the oven.
Pancetta is dry cured and not usually smoked. American bacon is pumped with water, salt, sugar and other cure ingredients and usually smoked. Yes you can substitute, but the flavour is different.