June 15, 2012 | Appetizers
Guess where I am today? Yep, that’s right, Rome. My favorite city in the world. I’m here with clients for whom I’ve arranged a week of touring and cooking, both in Rome and in the hilltown of Casperia about an hour outside of Rome in the Sabina Hills. So while I’m knocking back plates of spaghetti carbonara and glasses of prosecco, I’m thrilled to have Elaine from The Italian Dish here to offer up a quintessential Italian appetizer, Bagna Cauda. I’ve been reading Elaine’s blog for some time and love it. So without further delay, here’s Elaine!
Try serving this at your next dinner party as an interesting appetizer. This little dip is a very traditional dish in the Piedmont region of Italy. It’s meant for large gatherings and celebrations, but this version is for a more intimate crowd. Bagna Cauda means “hot bath” and it’s a gutsy sauce made from olive oil, butter, garlic and anchovies. Raw vegetables are dipped into it. You can use any vegetables you like – traditionally, in Italy they love to use bell peppers and cardoons. Cardoons can be difficult to find here, but it you know a grower and can buy some, this is the perfect dish to try them in!Bagna Cauda is warmed gently on the stove (you don’t want to burn the garlic) and kept warm at the table with a dip warmer. If you have an old fondue set that is gathering dust, this recipe is perfect for breaking that out of hibernation.It’s so rich and delicious, don’t let the anchovies scare you. In fact, a lot of bagna cauda recipes call for twice as many anchovies as I have here. Serve the bagna cauda with lots of crusty bread for dipping and red wine. It’s a crowd pleaser.
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 6 cloves garlic
- 6 anchovy fillets, washed and chopped
- any raw vegetables that you like
- Heat the oil and butter in a large pot. Slice the garlic very finely and add it to the pot. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the garlic is just soft. Don’t let the garlic burn or become brown. Add the anchovies, stirring over low heat until they dissolve, about 10 minutes.
- Serve the bagna cauda hot with raw vegetables and plenty of bread for dipping. You can keep the bagna cauda hot with a little dip warmer or a fondue warmer.
Now doesn’t that sound great?! Many thanks to Elaine for guest posting today – make sure to check out her blog!