Posts Tagged ‘pancetta’

We discovered this starter in a little chef-owned restaurant in our local town recently.


It came in individual dishes straight from the oven–the cheese melting into the shallots, the pancetta crisp.

A few mouthfuls of bliss!

It was so simple and so delicious, I had to try it at home.

Now we try not to have it with every meal….

for 2

  • 2 to 4 shallots–depending on the size–very thinly sliced
  • 1 goat cheese/chevre, “log”shape (in the hot oven, the outer “skin” allows them to hold their shape as the cheese melts inside.)
  • 4 pancetta slices–halved (you could use prosciutto too, if pancetta is difficult to source.)
  • 2 small sage leaves–optional but fun
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil

Heat oven to 200C/400F

Spread the sliced shallots evenly between the two individual oven-proof dishes–there should be enough to lightly cover the bottom of each dish.

Slice four pieces of about one-and-a-half inches from the chèvre cheese “log”.

Place two pieces in each of the oven-ready dishes, with two sage leaves.

Arrange four half-slices of pancetta around the sides of each dish.


the second two halves of a slice of pancetta to come…

Grind some pepper over the dishes and drizzle with olive oil.


the second two halves of a slice of pancetta still to come…

Slide the dishes onto the top shelf of the oven and cook for about ten minutes. (The cheese should be soft but hold its shape.)


It’s a hard act to follow.

Roast guinea fowl with chickpea mash managed to snatch back some glory at dinner the other night.





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We first had this dish in an excellent little restaurant in Castres, called L’Envie [fancy] recently.

Apt name–I fancied trying to recreate it at home.

First I had to buy the little serving dishes!  Still haven’t found the ones I’d really like (in terra cotta).

The recipe itself is relatively easy to prepare and quick to cook. It’s both delicious and handy as a simple starter for company, as it can be assembled well ahead of time.

It’s a conversation starter too.

“What are those things at the bottom of the dish?”




For two (but easily scaled up for the number around your table–if you have the little serving dishes!)

Preheat the oven to 220C/430F (i.e. hot oven)


2 shallots–very finely sliced

1 small “log” of goat’s cheese [chevre]

2 thin slices pancetta–(I started by using parma ham but Meredith suggested pancetta might be better and she was right! bacon would work too.)

4 small sage leaves–optional

olive oil for drizzling


Spread the shallot slices over the bottom of two small oven proof dishes–roughly a shallot for each dish.

Slice the goat’s cheese log into four pieces about and inch or so long

Place two pieces in each dish.

Half the pancetta “rounds” and place one half slice in each side of each dish.

Place two small sage leaves in each dish.

Sprinkle about a tablespoon of olive oil round and over the contents of each dish making sure the shallots get their fair share.


Roast in the top shelf of the oven for about ten minutes or so.

Meredith said I was stingy with the pancetta!

If you spot those little terra cotta serving dishes, let me know!

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