Finocchi alla diavola. Alla diavola translates as ‘the devil’s way’ which usually means a little spicy. In this case it means that the dish includes hot mustard. The recipe comes from the Silver Spoon, so I haven’t actually seen it in Italy.It is good for people who don’t normally like fennel, as the mustard and vinegar remove the strong aniseed taste that many people find distasteful. Serves 4.
Fennel alla diavola ingredients
4 salted anchovies (or 8 tinned fillets) — cleaned, filleted and soaked, then chopped
50 ml olive oil
4 fennel bulbs — trimmed and cut into wedges
1 tsp dijon or English mustard
1 tsp white wine vinegar
juice of a lemon
Salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a pan, add the anchovies and cook, mashing with a wooden spoon, until they have almost disintegrated, then add the fennel.
Mix together the mustard and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the mixture over the fennel.
Cover and cook over a low heat, stirring frequently, until the fennel is tender. Add a little water from time to time if necessary.
Remove the fennel from the pan and place on a warmed serving dish. Turn up the heat, add the lemon juice to the cooking liquid and stir until it starts to thicken