Made these the other night for some guests as a little pre-dinner nibble. A little snacky-snack ya know? I wanted something handheld that wouldn’t drip or make a mess and these Pesto Black Pepper Pancetta Breadsticks did it for me. These crunchy, buttery, layered puff pastry breadsticks are twisted and layered with all sorts of goodies.
From a wonderful Lemon Cashew Pesto I made, but feel free to use whatever kind you prefer, to salty and crispy rendered pancetta. With a generous dusting of fresh cracked black pepper these bad boys were made in 30 minutes.
These are also versatile in that you can change the flavors of the bread sticks to suit your tastes with whatever is on hand in your refrigerator. These can be a savory snack and made with different ingredients like Boursin cheese and chopped salami, chopped ham and shredded Swiss cheese, or you could go sweet like chopped walnuts and brown sugar and cinnamon or maybe Nutella and pecans. There are many ways to make this recipe your own, experiment and share with me what you come up with, too.
For this recipe I slowly rendered the pancetta in a sauté pan until golden brown. I also saved the rendered fat because that stuff is golden for that added flavor boost in cooking.
Next, I thawed the puff pastry on a sheet of parchment paper, dusted the rolling pin with some flour and rolled each pastry sheet to 10×12″. I next spread the pesto over the pastry almost to the edges and then divided the pancetta over each. Top with some shredded parmesan cheese, a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Using a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper, place over the pastry sheet and press the toppings into the dough. I use a pastry cutter and make 8 slices from each puff pastry sheet.
Holding each end of the dough, twist and place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. These do naturally puff up so keep an inch between them so they don’t stick together while baking. In a small bowl whisk a egg and brush over each cheese stick.
Bake in a 375°F oven for 19 minutes. I found that due to the olive oil in the pesto these take a little longer than ones not with these specific ingredients. Usually these bake until golden brown after 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on these, you don’t want them burned.
Pesto Black Pepper Pancetta Breadsticks
- 2 Puff Pastry Sheets thawed
- 1/2 cup pesto
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lb cooked pancetta
- 1 tbsp + fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 egg
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare 2 baking sheets by lining them with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
- Dust your rolling area, parchment paper or pastry mat with flour. Place the puff pastry on top and lightly dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll into a 10- to 12-inch rectangle.
- Divide the pesto for each sheet and spread the pesto over each pastry sheet to the edges. Sprinkle an even layer of parmesan over the pesto and puff pastry. Divide the rendered pancetta over each sheet. Next, add a generous amount of fresh cracked black pepper to each.
- Cover the puff pastry with a sheet of parchment paper and lightly press the toppings into the pastry.
- Using a sharp knife or pastry cutter, slice each puff pastry crosswise into 8 strips. Twist each strip into a spiral and transfer to the parchment-lined pans. Be sure to leave about 1 inch of space between each strip. Brush the puff pastry with the egg wash and dust again with pepper.
- Bake for 18 minutes, or until the straws are puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately.