Lardo gets misunderstood by English speakers all the time because it sounds very similar to "lard." Indeed, it is not actually lard (which is strutto in Italian, and traditionally used for frying or making pastry), but rather pork back fat that has been carefully cured in marble vats.
Here, it goes into a rustic frittata, the way they do it in the town of Carrara. You can skip the salt completely in this recipe, as the lardo and the pecorino add enough punch on their own. Serves 6 if you're just serving this as part of a starter or antipasto, or 4 if you want to turn this into a meal with some greens. —Emiko
4 to 6
(140 grams) lardo di Colonnata, diced finely
(about 50 grams) aged pecorino cheese, grated (or use Parmesan)
In a large bowl, beat all the ingredients except the olive oil together. Grease a heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet with olive oil (or use a nonstick skillet), and pour in the egg mixture. Cook over medium heat until the bottom begins to turn golden and the top is somewhat set (still glistening but not runny).
Ease the frittata onto a plate, cooked side down, then turn skillet over the top of the plate. Using a potholder or towel, with the palm of your hand firmly on the bottom of the plate, flip the frittata and plate into the skillet. Return the skillet to the medium heat to let cook for another 2 minutes, until cooked through. If you're not confident about flipping your frittata without ruining it, you can also place the pan directly in a 350º F (180º C) oven and cook until the top is golden and puffed, about 10 minutes.
Turn onto a cutting board to cut into wedges. Turn it into a simple meal with a salad of arugula dressed with olive oil and lemon juice or red wine vinegar.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.