I have always wanted to cure my own bacon so with a fresh 12 pound pork belly I decided to make it happen. I purchased my pork belly, that had been prepared only hours before, from Mills Family Farm in Mooresville, NC. It doesn’t get any fresher than that, so the thought of not braising it fresh seemed a little odd. I decided I would practice a little patience and cure the belly in three separate pieces. Two would be cured for 8 days with a combination of pink salt, spices and herbs. The other piece cured the same but then rolled into a log, tied and hung to dry for 21 days. The rolled piece, salt cured and aired dried, is what is known as pancetta or Italian bacon.Most pancetta is only salt cured and aired dried, but newer versions of the streaky, salty and slighty sweet bacon is now being lightly smoked in the style of what most of us think as “real” bacon. Finally after over a month of waiting my pancetta was ready for eating. Of course I sliced a few rings off, pan cooked it and ate it as is, but for Easter I made a pasta dish called Bucacini Alla Amatricina. The Amatricana is a bacon laden tomato based sauce that is classically used with pancetta chunks. (for this recipe visit www.cheftroy.net)However, on “Tuesdays with Troy” this past week on WCCB News Rising, I made this amazing “PLT” that the crew went absolutely nuts over. The pancetta is first slow cooked in a braising style, then crisp to perfection and made into a sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and a homemade sun-dried tomato aioli (mayo). Even if you don’t cure your own pancetta this sandwich will be awesome using any type of bacon.