Pistada with Crostini

I first came across a version of this enticing recipe in Carol Field’s Italy in Small Bites (Morrow, 1993). At that time, it was virtually impossible to find lardo in this country, so her recipe called for pancetta. Now that outstanding lardo is available here, the genuine article can be made at any time. It is excellent as an antipasti.

Wine recommendations: Because of the pistada’s richness, you can serve a high-acid white wine or a robust red wine with this appetizer. Avoid choices that might be too fruit-forward. Try a Gavi, a New Zealand or Austrian Sauvignon Blanc, a Russian River Valley Pinot Noir or a Montepulciano.

  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 6 ounces lardo (or fatty pancetta, lean parts removed), diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • ½ cup minced fresh Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper in a mill

Preheat oven to 275°F. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast, turning once, until they are deep golden brown. Transfer to a platter or basket and cover with a towel to keep warm.

Meanwhile, put the lardo into the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to form a smooth paste. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme and parsley and pulse again, until the herbs are evenly distributed. Season with salt and several turns of black pepper, pulse again, and transfer to a serving bowl or crock. Serve immediately with the hot crostini. Leftover pistada can be refrigerated, covered, for several days. Makes about one cup.

Published on July 1, 2010