Guanciale is something I've never seen in the UK. What can I use as a substitute?

Or, alternatively, is there somewhere I can source this in the UK?

Note: I'm thinking of experimenting with an Amatriciana.

  • I'd never heard of that. It looks disgusting and sounds delicious. Wikipedia doesn't have the second n in the spelling though. Are there multiple spellings or is that a typo?
    – yossarian
    Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 17:51
  • I think you're right.
    – Dog Ears
    Commented Jul 29, 2010 at 17:53

6 Answers 6


Wikipedia suggests Pancetta which is another form of cured Italian bacon, usually without smoking. I think the primary thing you are looking for is cured but not smoked, as smoke will add a strong flavor that is completely missing in Guanciale.

  • 1
    Right: bacon cured but not smoked is ok. Even here in Italy, for us living outside the Lazio region, it's a little bit hard to find guanciale. I usually use fresh bacon, aka pancetta dolce, in preparing amatriciana.
    – MaD70
    Commented Oct 27, 2010 at 16:01
  • 1
    And if you really can't get unsmoked bacon, you can blanch the bacon in boiling water for a minute or so--it removes quite a bit of the saltiness and some of the smokiness. Be sure to drain or pat dry the bacon after unless you're putting it in a dry pan--water left on the bacon can splatter if added to hot fat.
    – bikeboy389
    Commented Nov 13, 2010 at 17:38
  • You could also try unsmoked rashers.
    – Escoce
    Commented Apr 1, 2016 at 15:28

America's Test Kitchen recommends well rinsed salt pork as a substitute for guanciale in Amatriciana.


In Italy, Amatriciana is quite often cooked with pancetta cubes (smoked or not).

Here in the UK, if you can't find pancetta (easily found at Waitrose or Tesco), you can also substitute with lardons, bacon cubes or streaky bacon strips. The overall effect is very similar - however I suggest that you try guanciale if you can find it.


Pork belly! Very similar to guanciale, maybe slightly less fat.


There really isn't a good substitute for Guanciale, but it can be purchased online.

For example http://laquercia.us/cuts_specialties_guanciale_and_lardo_guanciale_americano.

Or in the UK http://www.nifeislife.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=guancial


Yes, you can substitute Guanciale with Pancetta cured Italian bacon but usually without smoking.

If you are in the UK you can be got it online, See the Balsamic Vinegar Recipes with Pancetta http://blog.vorrei.co.uk/balsamic-vinegar-recipes/

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