Bagna cauda

Bagna caoda fished dish

Bagna caoda fished dish

Piedmont-flagBagna caôda.From Piemonte. The rough translation of title is “hot bath” , which in my opinion is always preferable to a cold one 🙂 This dish is well known outside of Italy, but as is often the case it often is very different from the original. It is basically a warm anchovy and garlic dip for raw vegetables. These are two of my favourite things, so it’s one of my favourite antipasti. A lot of versions include milk or cream, but these are not found in the original Piemonte version

Bagna caoda ingredients

Bagna caoda ingredients

  • About 6 anchovy fillets per person. Salted are best, but tinned in oil will do. Soak them in a little white wine.
  • Garlic (from 2 or 3 cloves per person up to a whole head)
  • Olive oil, the best you can find, about 1/2 a wine glass per person. Only olive oil will do.
  • About 20 g of unsalted butter per person.
  • 1 egg per person(optional)

To serve, dip vegetables into the mixture. The recipe I have is very prescriptive and says you can only use vegetables that are in season and grow in Piedmont. I think this is going a bit far though. Some suggestions on what to serve with the Bagna Cauda (raw unless otherwise stated):-

  • Fresh bread
  • potatoes cooked in their skins and then peeled
  • Peppers roasted and peeled or raw
  • Onions boiled or baked
  • Sliced apples
  • Savoy cabbage
  • Jerusalem artichokes (raw or cooked))
  • Fennel
  • Cauliflower (raw or cooked)
  • Endive
  • Celery
  • Courgettes
  • Small globe artichoke
  • Cardoons
  • Cucumber
  • Radicchio
  • Asparagus
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spring onions
  • Small whole mushrooms
Bagna caoda vegetables

Bagna caoda vegetables

Slice the garlic very thinly and soak it in cold water for a couple of hours. Some recipes call for it to be boiled in milk, but I think this is unnecessary.

Add all the ingredients to an earthenware pot along with a small ladle of oil and cook very slowly for about half an hour. Don’t let the garlic brown. Stir it constantly with a wooden spoon. When the anchovies and garlic have dissolved into the sauce, add the rest of the oil.

Bring the pot to the table and keep it warm with some kind heat source.  You can buy special pots for this purpose, but fondue sets work well. Serve it with your selection of vegetables.

When you have had your fill of vegetables you can add a beaten egg to what’s left in the pot.

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Bucatini with artichoke carbonara or Springtime carbonara

Bucatini alla carbonara di primavera. This dish works very well. It’s now my new favourite artichoke dish (for a week or so anyway 🙂 ) If, like mine, the artichokes are very small, use 6. Serves 4

artichoke carbonara ingredients

320 grams bucatini
3 artichokes — prepared and sliced

40 grams pancetta — cubed
1/2 clove garlic
100 ml vegetable stock
1 sprig parsley — chopped
1 lemon
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
20 grams grana padano — grated
10 grams pecorino Romano — grated
olive oil
salt and pepper

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the pancetta for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the artichokes, garlic, parsley and stock.
  • Salt and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes covered and a further 15 minutes uncovered. Keep warm.
  • Take a large bowl (which will be used to serve the pasta). Add the eggs and yolks, a pinch of salt, a generous amount of pepper and the cheese. Beat until you have a smooth paste.
  • Cook the pasta until al dente
  • Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the egg mix. Toss until the bucatini are well coated. Add the artichokes and mix again.
  • Serve immediately

artichoke carbonara finished dish

Artichokes with anchovies


Carciofi alle acciughe. We are well into artichoke season now and I seem to be eating them three times a week. Not a problem :-)Serves 4

artichokes with anchovies ingredients

4 Artichokes
3 salted anchovies (or 6 tinned fillets)
    olive oil
1 clove garlic

  • Trim and quarter the artichokes
  • Fry the whole, peeled garlic clove in a little olive oil until browned, remove and discard.
  • Add the artichokes and about 1cm of water. Cover and steam until the artichokes are tender.
  • If using salted anchovies, fillet, soak for 10 minutes in cold water and drain
  • Remove the artichoke from the pan and add the anchovies. Reduce the cooking liquid, stirring all the time, until the anchovies have disolved.
  • Return the artichokes to the pan, mix well and cook for a few minutes to allow them to take up the sauce.
  • Serve as a side dish

artichokes with anchovies finished dish

Tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies

Tagliatelle con carciofi e acciughe. If you are unsure how to prepare the artichokes, click here. Serves 6
tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies finished dish

tagliatelle with artichokes and anchovies finished dish

 

  •  500 g fresh tagliatelle
  •   6 small artichokes
  •   1 lemon
  •   12 tinned anchovies in oil
  •   2 cloves garlic
  •   75 ml dry white wine
  •   100 ml vegetable stock
  •   2 tbsp chopped parsley
  •   30 g butter
  •    olive oil
  •    salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the artichokes in the usual way. Slice thinly.
  2. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan. Fry the whole cloves of garlic until they are well coloured and then remove them from the pan. Drain the artichokes well and add to the pan. Fry for 5 or 6 minutes until they start to colour.
  3. Remove the artichokes and put to one side. Add the anchovies and break them up with a wooden spoon. When the anchovies have completely dissolved, return the artichokes to the pan. Add the wine and stock. Reduce the liquid to half over a high heat. Remove from the heat, seasons with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley.
  4. Cook the tagliatelle. Drain and toss with the butter (optional). Add to the pan with the artichokes, mix well and serve immediately.

 

Penne with artichokes

Serves 4

penne with artichokes ingredients

  320  grams  penne rigate
  4       whole  artichokes
  4       tablespoons  olive oil
  1       clove  garlic — chopped
  1       tablespoon chopped parsley
           juice of a lemon

  • Prepare the artichoke and slice thinly. Put it into a bowl of water to which you’ve added the lemon juice.
  • Heat the oil i a pan. Add the garlic and parsley and fry gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Drain the artichokes and add to the pan. Stir well, cover,  and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add 2 or 3 tablespoons of water, salt, recover the pan and cook over a low heat until the artichokes are tender – maybe 15 minutes
  • Serve with the cooked penne.

penne with artichokes finished dish

                                   

Artichoke risotto

This recipe is apparently from Sicily. It’s unusual because it uses water instead of stock. If you can’t find salted anchovies,  use 6 fillets in oil instead.

Serves 4

artichoke risotto

artichoke risotto

  • 280g  risotto rice – pref Vialone nano
  • 4 young  artichokes — Prepared and sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves  garlic, chopped
  • 3 salted anchovies, soaked and filleted
  • 30g  pecorino (pref Sicilian peppered), grated
  • a lemon
  1. Soak the artichokes in water to which you’ve added the juice of the lemon
  2. Fry the onions and garlic in a little olive oil for a few minutes until
    they begin to soften
  3. Add the anchovies and the drained artichokes and cook for a further couple
    of minutes
  4. Add the rice and cook until it starts to turn transparent.
  5. Proceed in the usual way for risotto but using boiling water instead of
    stock. You will need just over a litre of water.
  6. When the rice is cooked, remove from the heat and add the cheese.
  7. Let it rest for a couple of minutes before serving.
artichoke risotto finished dish

artichoke risotto finished dish

Fusilli with artichokes

 Artichokes are just coming into season here. They’ll be a quarter of the price in a couple of weeks but I just couldn’t wait 🙂 If you’d like to know how to prepare an artichoke, look here.

Serves 4

fusilli with artichokes Ingredients

  320   grams  fusilli (spirals)
  3        whole  globe artichokes — prepared and thinly sliced
  1        small  onion — Finely chopped
  1        clove  garlic — chopped
  1        tablespoon  olive oil
  200   grams  Passata
  100   milliliters  dry white wine
            a sprig of parsley
            a lemon
            salt

  • When you’ve prepared the artichokes, soak then in cold water, to which you’ve added the juice of the lemon, for a few minutes.
    Prepared artichokes
  • Fry the onion and garlic together until they start to colour
  • Add the drained artichokes, season with salt  and cook for about 10
    minutes
  • Add the wine and let it reduce a little
  • Add the tomatoes and cook over a low heat for another 20 minutes
  • 5 minutes before the end, add the parsley
  • Mix with the cooked fusilli and serve

fusilli with artichokes Finished dish