About: I am a 82-year-old self-proclaimed Chef who has spent most of his life in the hotel/resort tourism industry. I have traveled up and down the east coast of the United States from New York to Key West, and from …

I have just recently rediscovered Pancetta! Combine some garlic, anchovies and Parmesan cheese in extra virgin olive oil and you can create a fantastic dressing or sauce that can be used on salads or pasta. I made a big plate of fresh arugula and "wilted" it by pouring a generous portion of this dressing over the top of the greens and ate it all for my dinner last night! (If you are not an arugula fan, substitute baby spinach leaves and you will be amazed at the results).

Step 1: INGREDIENTS (for 2 Servings):

  1. 5 or 6 ounces of fresh Arugula (you can use baby arugula or Spinach leaves or greens of your choice)
  2. 2 ounces (about 2 TBS) of chopped or diced Pancetta (you could substitute bacon, but it won't be the same)!
  3. 4 TBS of EVOO
  4. 3 to 6 cloves of fresh garlic
  5. 5 to 7 anchovy fillets
  6. 2 TBS + 1 teaspoon of red or white wine vinegar (I used white)
  7. 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper
  8. 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)
  9. 1/4 cup of shredded or shaved Parmesan Cheese

Step 2: Preparation:

  • Get all of your ingredients portioned out and ready to use before you begin cooking:
  • Rinse the Arugula, pat it dry (I use paper towels), plate it and set aside.
  • Chop or dice the Pancetta (the package that I bought was chopped rather fine). Set aside.
  • Peel and slice the garlic (I like nice slices of garlic, but you can also mince if you wish). Set aside.
  • Rinse and drain the anchovy fillets (it is not necessary to dry them; just let the water drip off); set aside.
  • Place the 2 TBS + 1 teaspoon of vinegar in a small dish and set aside.
  • Portion out the red pepper flakes & black pepper and set aside.
  • Measure out 1/4 cup of shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese and set aside.


  • Place the 4 TBS of EVOO in a heavy pan or non-stick skillet and heat over medium heat until warm.
  • Add the Pancetta (or bacon if using) and stir-fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and add the sliced garlic and continue to stir-fry until the garlic becomes fragrant (about 3 or 4 minutes).
  • Add the anchovy fillets and "mash" them into the garlic oil mixture using the back of a wooden spoon. Continue to stir and fry this mixture until the garlic begins to turn color (like a pale yellow; don't burn the garlic).
  • Add the vinegar and pepper (black, and red if using) - but NO SALT (the Pancetta and the anchovies are already salted).
  • Stir the dressing to blend all of the ingredients, then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Pour or ladle the dressing over the plated salad greens and top with Parmesan cheese (see next step)

Step 4: TIME TO EAT . . .

This recipe can be served as a dinner salad, or portioned into servings and used as a side-salad for a variety of dishes. However, I preferred to have mine for dinner last night, and I really enjoyed it! (If you don't like "green things" you can cook up some pasta and dress it with the sauce (or stir the pasta into the sauce and then plate it)!

Step 5:

I have analyzed the ingredients of this recipe to the best of my ability using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Analyzer. Beverages are not included.

NOTE: The recipe analysis posted here reflects a high amount of sodium; probably because of the sodium content of the pancetta and, especially, the anchovies. However, the anchovies were thoroughly rinsed after being removed from their tin before being placed in the pan and I have not found any way of taking into consideration the amount of sodium removed during this process. The cooked dressing did not taste too salty to me and I am a diabetic and very conscientious about the use of salt in my food.