Crispy pancetta with fabada vinaigrette and itx broth

Crispy pancetta with fabada vinaigrette and itx broth
Casa Marcial
Chef: Nacho Manzano
Country: España
City: 33549 Arriondas (Asturias)
Address: La Salgar, 10; a 4 kilómetros del centro urbano
(+34) 985840991

Nacho Manzano is one of the most personally expressive Spanish chefs around. He is further distinguished by another virtue that has contributed to his prestige: an innate talent for producing refined and harmonious flavors. Both qualities are evident in this dish, in a way a tribute to the Fabada (a bean stew typical from Asturias, Spain). A dish he has nurtured with great care both using the traditional recipe, worthy of an 8.5/10 in The Best Fabadas, and creatively—in its day he presented it in a wonderful salad.
This new creation can certainly be interpreted in various, not necessarily accurate, ways. It gives us the impression of being inspired by Fabada since it contains green beans, the stew’s broth and the pancetta, even if the latter must share the limelight with the beans and soup.
The meat is first cooked, along with vegetables, chickpeas and herbs, in water that is short of bubbling for about 4 hours. It is then allowed to cool in the same pot before it is removed and cut to serving size pieces. Just before serving, these are fried in hot oil so that the outside is crispy and the inner 90% melts in your mouth.

This recipe appears to be inspired by escabeche or gazpacho, or perhaps both. The sauce, the broth from the beans, is seasoned with olive oil and vinegar to make a sort of green bean puree vinaigrette. The appearance of vegetables (spring onion rings, green pepper julienne, small carrot slices and tomato concassé, all raw, imparting vibrancy, naturalness, texture and color) next to the piece of pancetta, the beans and the subtly acidified soup reminds us of the bold addition of a symbiosis between escabeche and gazpacho. Any way you look at it, it is a magnificent example of original cuisine with brilliant idiosyncrasy.

The Recipe


  • 1/2kg Iberico pancetta
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 carrots
  • plenty of gros sel
  • 150g chickpeas
  • 1 bunch, fresh sage


Bury the pancetta in coarse salt for 10 hours, then remove it and wash it well. Place over low heat with all of the ingredients and simmer for about 7 hours. De-bone while hot, then press it down with some weight so that it takes shape. Allow to cool completely before cutting.


  • 750g fine Asturian fabes de la granja (dried white butter beans)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 parsley sprigs
  • 2 saffron envelopes
  • salt
  • 2 Spanish chorizos, whole
  • 2 Asturian morcillas (blood sausage)
  • 200g salted pancetta
  • 300g de-salted cured pork shoulder (lacón)
  • water for cooking and soaking


Soak the pre-washed fabes for 8 hours; mix in all of the ingredients except the chorizo and saffron. Place over high heat and bring to a boil, then skim the foam and reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep an eye on the beans so that they are always submerged (water level an inch above the beans), adding small quantities of cold water if necessary. After cooking for 1 hour and 45 minutes, add the chorizos, the saffron and salt to taste. Cook for 1 more hour.


  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 green pepper
  • Asturian fabes de la fabada (dried white beans)
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • romaine lettuce leaves


Use a mandoline to thinly slice the carrot, onion and green pepper. Dice the tomato, add a few whole fabes from the fabada, finely chop the basil leaves and thoroughly mix in the oil, vinegar and salt. Use to dress the vegetables.



Fry the pancetta in plenty of oil. Spoon a bit of vinaigrette into a deep dish, with the pancetta on top and the fabada broth around it.