Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pancetta Rosemary Parmesan Scones

It was such a mild day today here in the Northeast that I wanted to spend as much time as I could outside. I chose this recipe for that reason, plus I had some pancetta left over from a delicious pasta dish I made the other night called Bucatini with Onion, Bacon and Tomato from Lidia Bastianich's book, "Lidia's Italy". Obviously I used pancetta instead of the bacon and if you're looking for a great dish to make, I highly recommend it. But, as usual, I digress!

So, having the pancetta already, I knew I wanted to incorporate some other flavors with it and parmesan cheese seemed like an obvious choice and noticing other recipes called for fresh rosemary...that went in, too.

Now for the actual recipe combining those three ingredients, I based it on this scone I made with buttermilk, making it more like a biscuit, which is what I wanted to serve with dinner and I have to say not only did it work great but the scones came out just so amazing! They're light and flakey and the flavor of the cheese throughout works so well. The little bits of pancetta are delicious and the rosemary is subtle. So, I guess by now you can tell I really loved these:)

Please promise me you'll make them!

Fry the pancetta in a skillet to get nice and crispy and browned, then drain on a paper towel and cut into small pieces then set aside.
Put the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
Add in the parmesan cheese and chopped fresh rosemary and pulse again to combine.
Add in the butter pieces and pulse to combine.
Transfer the dry mixture into a large mixing bowl.
Mix the egg and buttermilk in a little bowl and add into the dry mixture stirring gently with a fork til it's all combined.
Then add in the pancetta at the very end and fold in gently with the fork.

Dump the dough onto a floured work surface and pat into a rectangle (my personal favorite shape!) or round, making sure the pancetta is evenly distributed. Keep the dough about 1 1/4" high.
Cut into wedges or triangles using a bench scraper.

Then transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with cream or half and half or even milk if that's all you have.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or til they're nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Also test by feeling the tops, if they're nice and firm they should be done.

They're best eaten the same day you make them... really best eaten about 15 minutes just out of the oven! Best warm, and they can also be reheated. So good!

Pancetta Rosemary Parmesan Scones
Makes 9 good sized scones but can be cut into smaller triangles.
4 oz. good quality pancetta or a thick cut bacon
2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup good quality parmesan cheese or a pecorino romano
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
cream or half and half and a little more cheese, for the top, (opt.)
Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Cook the pancetta til crispy and browned, then transfer onto a paper towel, then a cutting board, and cut into 1/4 to 1/2" pieces and set aside. Trim away excess fat if there's a lot.
2. Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a food processor.* Pulse a few times to combine.
3. Add in the cheese and rosemary and pulse again to combine.
4. Add the butter pieces and pulse til mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
6. Beat the egg and buttermilk in a small bowl, then add into the flour mixture and gently stir with a fork, being sure to incorporate all the dry. If the mixture looks too dry, add in more buttermilk a tablespoon at a time. Don't overwork the dough. Just stir enough to moisten.
7. Gently fold in the pancetta pieces, just til blended.
8. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into a rectangle or round and pat the dough, with floured hands, to about 1 1/4" thickness. (If some of the pancetta seems to be more in one area than another, pick it out and push it into the areas that need more.)
Using a bench scraper or heavy knife, cut the dough into triangle or wedge shapes and place on the parchment lined baking sheet.
9. Brush the tops with the cream or half and half and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or til nicely browned and firm when you press down on them. Also test by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, they're done.
Optional: About 5 minutes before the scones are finished baking, sprinkle a little more cheese on top of each scone.
*Note: You don't need to have a food processor to make scones, it just makes the process a whole lot easier and quicker. I used to make them all the time without a food processor.
You'll need to just place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add in the butter pieces and work them in with your fingers. Then proceed with step 6 above. The dough needs to be cold, so if you think the butter is getting too soft, place the bowl into the freezer for about 10 minutes to chill before adding in the egg and buttermilk mixture.


  1. These scones look amazing! Don't think I've ever made savory scones, but the flavors here look really wonderful.



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