The Most Important Ingredient in Your Kitchen Is...
With one basic item (or any one of the four runners-up), a ridiculously easy but still impressive dinner is doable any night of the week.
By Lynn Andriani
4 of 5
Subtle Salty Flavor: Pancetta
If bacon makes any dish better, pancetta does that with an Italian accent. The cured meat still imparts that salty pork flavor, but it's subtler (and not smoky). Pancetta is often the reason Brussels sprouts haters become converts, but it can also turn universally loved foods, like spaghetti with tomato sauce, into something special. If your recipe starts with sautéing an onion, just add a handful of diced or sliced pancetta during that step and then proceed.