TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken from Alto Restaurant in New York City.
For those whose mouths water at the smell of bacon, how about trying some Italian bacon, pancetta (pronounced pan-cheh'-tuh). Pancetta is cured with salt and other spices, is usually not smoked and differs from American and English bacon (which is taken from the sides and belly of the pig) in that it is taken only from the belly. The many regions of Italy all produce their own types of Italian bacon. So, if you have easy access to different varieties of pancetta, feel free to experiment with the combination of flavors. This recipe for Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken, "stolen" from Chef Scott Conant of Alto Restaurant, is straightforward, yet wonderfully full of flavor when combined with a side of seasonal vegetables.
About the chef: Scott Conant has simultaneously tapped into America's love affair with Italian food and redefined it. At his two New York City restaurants, Alto and L'Impero, he balances the honesty and simplicity of Italy's cucina rustica with the ambitious refined notes of alta cucina.
The 35-year-old Conant graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1991. He has worked at San Domenico, has been the sous chef at Pino Luongo's Il Toscanaccio, and has had a short tenure as opening executive chef of City Eatery. Conant then launched L'Impero in Manhattan's Tudor City in the autumn of 2002. In April 2005, Conant opened Alto, his second restaurant, in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The restaurant's name is both a reference to alta cucina (the term for highly refined Italian cuisine) and to the northern third of Italy, from which chef Conant draws considerable inspiration for Alto's menu.
As if being executive chef and owner of Alto and L'Impero weren't exhausting enough, Conant works on several projects that take him outside of the kitchen. Last fall, he released the first of two cookbooks, "Scott Conant's New Italian Cooking" written with Joanne McAllister Smart.
Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken is served at Alto Restaurant for $24. This recipe is for a serving size of two.
520 Madison Ave.
New York, N.Y. 10022
leftfalsefalse0falsefalse25Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.