Mascarpone Crispy Pancetta Crostini


 

Having a tub of mascarpone in your fridge is never a bad thing. Mascarpone is essentially an Italian cream cheese. It is thick and creamy, and most commonly used in tiramisu. It is mild in taste which makes it a great base for different recipes. Also, it delicious on its own slathered on a piece of Italian bread. Adding crispy pancetta soaked in balsamic vinegar makes it an even better bite. This is a great appetizer or even a decadent breakfast/brunch option.

Mascarpone Crispy Pancetta Crostini

ingredients

  • 1 cup mascarpone

  • 1 1/2 tbsp good olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup pancetta, cubed (see recipe notes)

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, halved

  • 1 tbsp lemon zest

  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

  • Italian bread, cut into 1.2 inch pieces

instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl combine mascarpone, salt, pepper, oilve oil, and mix until well incorporated. I use a rubber spatula which works really well!

  2. Place the pancetta in a saute pan over a medium heat. Once the pancetta starts to brown, about 3 minutes, add the balsamic vinegar. Scrape up an brown bits caused by the balsamic deglazing the pan.

  3. Let the mixture simmer for another two minutes. Remove pancetta from the pan and drain. Let it set aside and cool.

  4. Rub the garlic halves cut side down on top of the pieces of Italian bread. Spread a layer of the mascarpone mixture on top of each piece. Then layer on a little bit of spinach, topping with the crispy pieces of pancetta. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the assembled pieces of bread and serve.

RECIPE NOTES: In the grocery store I buy the brand cittero cubed pancetta. I find it already cut into cubes. If you can’t find that go to your cold cuts counter and ask them to slice you a piece of pancetta 1.4 inch thick. Then you can cut into into small cubes.