Celebrate BLT Month, Italian Style

Happy BLT Month! It’s high time everyone’s favorite sandwich got a makeover. This Italian upgrade to the BLT is exactly what the doctor ordered.

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April is National BLT Month. As universally loved as the BLT is, however, It’s high time this humble sandwich got an upgrade. Thanks to the global nature of food, there is now a way to take the BLT from “Delicious!” to “Delizioso!”

Meet PAT: Pancetta, Arugula and Tomato. All that’s missing is a small drizzle of balsamic vinegar and you’re set. This is BLT to the next level.

Pancetta vs. Bacon

shutterstock_265154069Photo from Shutterstock Copyright imagesef

Pancetta is often called “Italian Bacon” and to give credit where credit is due, that’s not too far from the truth. They’re cut from the same part of the pig and undergo the same curing process, with one exception: Bacon is smoked, while Pancetta is not smoked. This changes the flavor drastically and will really determine on whether or not you want a smokey component to the dish you’re making. In this case, we can do without.

Romaine vs. Arugula

Romaine lettuce is the king of salad greens. It’s found in just about every salad on the planet, and is a key component in a BLT (the letter is in the name, come on!). But, let’s be real, there’s not much in the way of taste for Romaine. It’s all crunch, no flavor. Enter: Arugula. The peppery bite of arugula is the perfect compliment to the salt and fat of the pancetta, and the crispness of the tomato.

Tomatoes

Really, not much has to be changed here. Just make sure to find a good, fresh, ripe tomato. But, if you do want to spice things up even more, try Heirloom Tomatoes or even Sun-Dried Tomatoes, for an extra punch of flavor.

Burrata…?

Here’s the curveball. Normally, BLTs have mayo on the bread. Really though? Not the healthiest option. Burrata on the other hand is the perfect substitute. Burrata is a rich, creamy Italian cheese from the southern regions of Italy. The inside of the cheese is creamy and soft, surrounded by a firmer outer layer, akin in texture to mozzarella. The creamy center pairs perfectly with the other ingredients, bringing this quartet of flavors to great heights.

Andrew Asistin

Combining a love of writing and food, Andrew's culinary journey has walked many paths. From university, to the Culinary Institute of America, to the restaurants of NYC. Now finally settled in as an editorial intern at Alimentari, the next step of his journey can begin.

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