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Italian garlic, anchovy and sardine dip recipe

Italian garlic, anchovy and sardine dip recipe


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This is a wonderfully flavoursome recipe. Serve warm as a dip or with crusty bread as an appetiser.

8 people made this

IngredientsServes: 32

  • 350ml vegetable oil
  • 100g garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 (50g) tins anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 3 (120g) tins sardines packed in oil, drained
  • 225g butter

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:35min

  1. Place the oil in a frying pan and heat over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, anchovies and sardines. Cook and stir until well blended, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(11)

Reviews in English (7)

by vanessajbaca

If you use extra virgin olive oil in place of the vegetable oil, it will be spectacular...I promise. I love bagna calda with endive lettuce leaves (if you can find them) and red peppers, but when the calda gets cold and thick, it makes a fantastic spread for bread or tortillas.-20 Feb 2008

by cynthia j

Wow, yes olive oil makes it spectacular! Also, the sardines I had on hand were packed in hot sauce, not oil...added a nice kick to this.-04 Apr 2008


Bagna Cauda (Italian Anchovy Dip)

4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup minced mushroom stems
3 tablespoons finely minced garlic
8 anchovy fillets, drained and minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
salt, to taste

Optional Dippers
celery sticks
cherry tomatoes
raw mushrooms
cucumber
green onions
red bell peppers


Making the Sauce

Bagna càuda has only three critical ingredients: the anchovies, the garlic, and the olive oil. Sometimes a few other things, like butter or milk, find their way in, though those inclusions always set off a typically Italian debate about whether they're correct or not.

I tested the sauce a few different ways. I made one version in which I simply cooked the garlic at very low heat in oil until softened another in which I removed the germ from the garlic first, something many recipes insist is critical lest the sauce be tinged with an unpleasant bitterness a third version in which I simmered the garlic in milk until tender, then drained it and combined it with the oil and a fourth in which I did the same as for the milk version, but with water instead of milk.

None of my blind-tasters could tell a difference between batches with and without the germ, a sign that it's not as important as some people claim. Though I should add that my garlic didn't have a very developed, green germ, so I can't rule out that, in those cases, there may be some benefit to pulling it out. Still, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

The garlic that cooked in oil from the start, without a milk- or water-poaching step, was the hardest to smash into a mush later. This isn't shocking. Even if you take lots of care to keep the oil's temperature low, it doesn't take much for the heat to climb just a little too high, gently frying the garlic and hardening it in the process.

For this reason, we all liked the batches in which that garlic was poached first, whether in milk or water. The garlic grew increasingly soft and tender, making it easy to smash into a purée in the oil later. Between the water and the milk, tasters tended to prefer the milk-poached version for its slightly richer and more complex flavor, but the difference was hardly revelatory. Water works just fine, if that's what you've got.

Once the garlic is soft and in the oil, the anchovies go in until they melt down. The quality of your anchovies matters here—they're not hiding behind anything. Look for good imported oil-packed anchovy fillets, like Agostino Recca, or buy a tin of salt-packed anchovies and prepare them yourself following my instructions here.

At this point, you can use a wooden spoon to smash any larger lumps of garlic or anchovy that remain, until you have a relatively smooth purée. For an even smoother sauce, a quick blitz with an immersion blender will do the trick.

The dip is meant to be eaten warm (the name means "hot bath" in the dialect of Piedmont), and you'll often see it served in a special warming dish, with a candle below to maintain its heat. If you want to fill up your cabinet space with one of these, you can find them online. My wife will kill me if I add one more piece of super-specialized equipment to our kitchen, so I do without, instead making sure the bagna càuda is nice and hot before bringing it to the table.


19 sardines and anchovies Recipes

Sardines, Parmesan and Olive Tapenade on Pide

Sardines, Parmesan and Olive Tapenade on Pide

Sardine and Bread Crumb Pasta with Puttanesca Salad (Rachael Ray)

Sardine and Bread Crumb Pasta with Puttanesca Salad (Rachael Ray)

Grilled Anchovies (or Sardines) with Christmas Limas, Mint and Chili Oil (Mario Batali)

Grilled Anchovies (or Sardines) with Christmas Limas, Mint and Chili Oil (Mario Batali)

Grilled White Anchovies with Lemon and Mint Salsa (Tyler Florence)

Grilled White Anchovies with Lemon and Mint Salsa (Tyler Florence)

Stuffed Sardines with Sweet and Sour Peppers (Mario Batali)

Stuffed Sardines with Sweet and Sour Peppers (Mario Batali)

Stuffed Sardines with Sweet and Sour Peppers: Sarde Ripiene (Mario Batali)

Stuffed Sardines with Sweet and Sour Peppers: Sarde Ripiene (Mario Batali)

Mixed Greens with Marinated Anchovies

Mixed Greens with Marinated Anchovies

Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Anchovies and Toasted Bread Crumbs (Mario Batali)

Spaghetti with Caramelized Onions, Anchovies and Toasted Bread Crumbs (Mario Batali)

Finnish Beet Salad

Finnish Beet Salad

Grilled Fish with Olive Sauce (Emeril Lagasse)

Grilled Fish with Olive Sauce (Emeril Lagasse)

Linguine Fine with Alici, Garlic, Lemon and Bread Crumbs (Mario Batali)

Linguine Fine with Alici, Garlic, Lemon and Bread Crumbs (Mario Batali)

Fish Linguine (Jamie Oliver)

Fish Linguine (Jamie Oliver)

Beer Batter Frito Misto (Tyler Florence)

Anchovy butter and radish teatime sandwiches

Triangles of soft bread, butter creamed with anchovy and the peppery crunch of radish slices – tasty, delicate and elegant, everything teatime should be. Any leftover butter can be stored in the fridge for several days.

Makes 9
1x 500g sourdough loaf, cut into 6 slices
25g anchovy fillets
125g butter, at room temperature
10-12 radishes, trimmed and sliced lengthwise.

1 Drain the anchovy fillets, then blitz them with the butter. Spoon into a small container with a sealable lid and chill until firm, but still spreadable.

2 Spread anchovy butter thickly on to the bread slices. Scatter half with slices of radish, then sandwich with the remaining anchovy-buttered bread. To serve, cut each sandwich into 3 small triangles.
Roy Levy, Gail’s Artisan Bakery Cookbook (Ebury Press)


Garlic and anchovy dip (bagna cauda)

A fragrant mixture of olive oil, garlic and anchovies are blended with melted butter to create this Italian dip that’s similar to fondue. Serve with seasonal vegetables, crusty bread and a glass of medium-bodied red wine, such as barbera.

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • 15 garlic cloves, halved
  • 185 ml (¾ cup) milk
  • 200 g (about 20) salted anchovies (see Note), rinsed, drained, backbone removed
  • 200 g butter, chopped, at room temperature
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) thickened cream
  • sliced seasonal vegetables (red cabbage, carrots, radishes, bulb spring onion, artichoke, capsicum, asparagus) and crusty bread, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

Place garlic and milk in a small saucepan over low heat for 20 minutes or until garlic is softened. Remove from heat and, using a fork, mash garlic in milk until combined. Add anchovies, return pan to heat and cook, stirring continuously, for a further 10 minutes to develop flavours and allow anchovies to break down.

Gradually stir in butter, then olive oil, then cream until well combined and butter has melted. Transfer to a small dish and serve with vegetables and crusty bread.

• You can substitute anchovies in oil that have been drained for the salted anchovies.


Gather your selection of raw vegetables and trim and cut into small batons to make crudités

Roughly slice the garlic cloves and put them in a small pan with the milk and anchovies and heat . Simmer slowly for 5- 10 minutes until the garlic is soft and tender – don’t worry if this splits a little.

Remove from the heat and blitz till smooth and creamy.

Return to a very low heat and add in the butter and stir gently to combine.

Finally add the cream stirring for one to two minutes.

Pour the bagna cauda into a fondue and keep warm over a lighted candle. Enjoy by dipping in the raw vegetables in the warm dip with some fresh crusty bread on the side. By adding some fresh fish this makes a stunning pasta sauce too.


Pasta with sardines: A regional Italian favorite

This peasant-style pasta dish from Italy varies a bit from region to region, but the basic ingredients are essentially the same for all a long cut of pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, sautéed onions, toasted breadcrumbs, and sardines and/or anchovies.

For this recipe, we’ve adapted the authentic Sicilian version just a bit to include some minced garlic along with our toasted breadcrumbs.

Other versions (see variation below) include anchovies either in place of or in addition to the sardines, and regional ingredients like wild fennel, saffron, pine nuts, and raisins.


Bagna cauda

"Bagna cauda is a Piedmontese dish and a favourite of mine. I was first introduced to the idea of this dish by my friend and restaurateur Andre Ursini, but this recipe is Antonio Carluccio’s. If you’re not a fan of this salty little fish, now’s the time to try it, because there are few other dishes that give it such an elaborate dressing-up and there’s no better way to eat raw seasonal vegetables. Even my lovely Jono likes this when usually he wouldn’t touch an anchovy with a ten-foot pole." Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co.

Preparation

Cooking

Skill level

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 fennel bulb, fronds reserved for garnish
  • 12 cauliflower florets
  • 4 sticks celery
  • 8 radishes
  • 3 carrots

Bagna cauda

  • 16 cloves garlic, peeled
  • milk
  • 30 small anchovy fillets
  • 300 g good quality unsalted butter
  • 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 ml cream (double cream if you want to be naughty)
  • fresh or toasted slices of ciabatta (optional)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

To prepare the crudités, cut all the vegetables into irregular shapes which you imagine will be useful for scooping. For root vegetables I like to roll and slice on a steep diagonal and for veggies with a flattish surface like capsicum cut into elongated triangles. For cauliflower, slice the florets not too thinly, so you have flat trees. The fennel will oxidise quickly so cut at the last minute and use a sharp knife. If you are hell-bent on being prepared to the max, slice ahead of time and toss the fennel in some lemon juice, but this will only buy you more time, it won’t stop it from going brown altogether.

To make the bagna cauda, place the garlic in a small saucepan and cover with just enough milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the garlic is completely soft. Remove from the heat and crush the garlic into the milk with a fork. Add the anchovies and return to a low heat, stirring until they are dissolved, then blitz with a blender or stick blender until smooth. Add the butter and olive oil and stir until combined, then stir in the cream.

To serve, portion the bagna cauda into individual pots or in a single larger fondue dish at the centre of the table with a candle underneath to keep it warm. The vegetables can also be portioned out or scattered beautifully onto a communal platter. Then it’s simply a matter of dipping and mopping the remainder up with the bread, but between you and me, I’d happily drench a steak with the leftovers.

• If you can find and afford heirloom or baby vegetables, these will add interest and an ornamental touch to the dish. Also, the vegetables I’ve chosen are just a guide. By all means do your own thing as long as seasonality is king.

Photograph by Randy Larcombe Photography.

Reproduced with permission from the book Same Same But Different by Poh Ling Yeow, published by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers Australia, 2014.


Anchovy recipes

Many people will only have experienced anchovies as the shrivelled, salty slivers found on half-baked pizzas of your youth. If you're an anchovy sceptic, probably scarred for life by such pizzas, we implore you to think again. Treated properly, anchovies take on magical properties. Chopped and stirred into sauces, they add a subtle umami, salty seasoning that avoids that 'fishy' odour that scares off many a budding anchovy-eater. You may not even be aware of some of the classic dishes that anchovies play a key part in, such is their subtlety. Spaghetti alla puttanesca, for example, sees anchovies infused into the rich tomato and olive sauce. Salsa verde also boasts a healthy dose of these small-but-mighty fish.

Anchovies spoil very quickly after being caught, so are usually either packed into salt or oil shortly after to preserve them. Saying that, if you can get your hands on fresh anchovies, it's worth treating yourself to a beautifully simple dish such as Grazia Soncini's Anchovies marinated in lemon - the delicate marinade beautifully offsets the rich flesh of this oily fish.

Although anchovies lend themselves particularly well to simple dishes, our Great Italian Chefs have demonstrated in spades how they are worthy of starring in refined, complex dishes. Pino Cuttaia's 'Anchovy painting' recipe sees the humble anchovy elevated to a work of culinary art, while anchovies play a great supporting role in the form of anchovy butter in Marianna Vitale's Veal tartare recipe.


Recipes

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Gino’s Italian recipes are a true homage to the country of his birth – this is Italian home-cooking as it should be, using delicious fresh ingredients and with simplicity of preparation at its core.

Gino makes the art of cooking uncomplicated and achievable, allowing you to create mouth-watering Italian cuisine which always packs a huge flavour punch.

Whether you fancy a light snack, or one of Gino’s rich, hearty soups – or perhaps Salsicce e Lenticchie (the Italian version of bangers ‘n’ mash!), you’ll find everything you need right here.

And if you’re seeking the full Italian experience, this is where you’ll find a huge range of ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Simply browse through Gino’s recipes and get cooking the real Italian way!

You can search by category, type of dish, main ingredient and by the name of the recipe your choices include antipasti, starters, soups, mains, sides and desserts – and whatever you choose to make, you’ll find the recipe will be easy to follow and will guarantee you success on a plate.

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