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Bella Pancetta Burger with zesty mayo

This beef burger is my "ode to Italy" ! My husband, then fiance`, decided to take me there on our honeymoon 5 years ago. I fell in love with the people, sights, smells, and most of all, the food. He is a burger lover though, so I have fuzed our fond memory with one of his favorite meals, the burger! Enjoy...


Zesty Mayo ingredients:
1 cup mayonaise
1 lemon
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt
Burger patties:
1 tsp olive oil + more for oiling grill
1 1/4 inch thick slice of Pancetta
1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp black pepper
Burger Builders:
1 large sourdough round (sliced)
12 slices imported provolone cheese
1 head organic arugula, cleaned
2 large beefsteak tomatoes
+ 1 large red onion, thinly sliced


For Zesty mayo: start by putting mayo in a medium sized bowl. Zest the lemon into the bowl. Slice the lemon and squeeze the juice of each half directly into bowl; keeping seeds out. add rosemary, garlic, and sea salt. Mix thoroughly, cover and refrigerate. Prepare charcoal grill for medium heat or heat gas grill to medium heat. Add a tsp of oil to a small saute pan and heat to med high. Finely dice pancetta and cook in olive oil until crispy. If necessary, dice again after cooking until pieces resemble bacon bits. Drain from oil and set aside. Combine ground chuck, sea salt, chili flakes, black pepper. Add cooled pancetta bits to mixture. Form 6 1/4 lb patties in an oval shape (to fit bread shape). Oil Grill to prevent meat from sticking. Grill burgers 3-4 minutes on one side and flip. Add 2 slices of provolone to the top of each patty during the last minute of grilling to melt. Cook meat to at least 160 degrees, then remove patties and let them rest. Place 12 slices of bread on the grill and toast both sides. To assemble: Place 2 slices of bread face up on each plate. Spread Zesty mayo on both slices of bread. On Bottom slice, place Burger patty, add a layer of arugula, top with 2 tomato slices, 2-3 onion slices and top with other slice of bread. Repeat until all six are completed. Cut down the center and serve.


The important thing to remember in this recipe is the bread. I prefer to use types such as Sourdough sliced rounds. The bread holds up better to grilling and the meat. The patty shape has to be oval or you will have a lot of "meatless bites".