Here's what I do:
. . .
Start with about as much good-quality, imported pancetta as you can afford. Try for at least ¼ pound. ½ pound is better. More than that is even more wonderful. If you've purchased it in a chunk, then chop it into medium-small dice. If you've bought slices, then julienne them. (Lately, I've been using a domestic brand that I buy at Costco/Sam's. It's not grand enough to just wrap around melon and serve, but cooked up in a soup, it's perfectly fine. And, it's affordable enough that I can use 1 pound, or even more.)
To respond to somebody about the meat, I do use pancetta/proscuitto. I've found a domestic (US) version at Sam's/Costco that, while not as good as the real Italian stuff of course, also costs much, much less. I wouldn't use it to wrap a slice of juicy melon, but it's so affordable that we can put lots of it in this soup.
I'm confused. Do you use pancetta or proscuitto, or does it matter? Your comments about "wrapping around melon" make me think of proscuitto, but in your instructions you referred to pancetta, which seems to me to be a more natural choice.
Honestly, I like them both. Usually have used what I can find, or what is on sale. I've lived a lot of places where I can't get one or the other. It is a pretty boldly-flavored soup, so I don't find it critical to use one over the other. Either one beats beef, in our view.
Edited by Jaymes, 05 June 2012 - 06:21 PM.