I had some pancetta from The Fatted Calf recently. What a treat to have access to such a great product. It reminded me of one of my favorite ways to prepare Black Calypso beans.
Fry a piece or two of good pancetta. When cooked, remove and reserve the meat but sauté some onions and garlic in the pot, using the pancetta fat. When the vegetables are soft, add a few sage leaves and some pre-soaked beans. Cover with water by about an inch and bring to a hard boil. Allow to boil for about five minutes and then reduce to a very low simmer. When the beans are soft, add salt to taste and cook for another 20 minutes. Just before serving, chop up the reserved pancetta and add it to the beans.
You can substitute bacon for pancetta, if you like.
Slow Food Nation Update:
I'm too close to the fire to be objective, but I find this whole new situation a little creepy. Locals in Livingston, Montana are fighting a proposed gated community project that is donating $500,000 to produce the San Francisco Slow Food Nation event, via Alice Waters. I guess Neiman-Marcus is selling the lots and their advertisement says, "Your home site comes with a private gourmet dinner prepared by Alice Waters, using locally grown and sustainably raised ingredients." Yuck. Read the story at Ethicurean after you bookmark the site. It should be part of your daily reading.