Lentils were always on the ready due to their low cost and satisfying qualities. This is in addition to their ultra-savory appeal – made possible by chunks of salty/smoky pig’s head.
Traditional: the cheek/jowl flesh of a pig is rubbed with spice and aged for about a month.
Veganized: 1/2 package of May-Wah vegan bacon strips cut into fine pieces, seasoned with sage, black pepper and three drops of liquid smoke.
That’s how I make guanciale (gwan-cha-lay).
Brown vegan guanciale with diced onions.
Prepare lentils right on top of guanciale crisps (1 cup dry to 2 cups pipe punch or veg broth).
When liquid has been absorbed and lentils are done, add cubed sweet potatoes that have been boiled until tender.
Garnish with parsley and serve alongside garlicky greens.