Pancetta is not often used in cooking here in Australia. It is made of pork belly and is cured similar to bacon.
The difference between pancetta and bacon is that pancetta is unsmoked, and has more spices through it.
In this recipe it is ideal, as the spice flavours go through all the other ingredients. The browned cubed potatoes teamed with the crispy pancetta and red cabbage are a tantalizing mixture that left me wanting more.