If you’re not a fan of anchovies, you’re missing out big time, but okay you can look away now but you’ll regret it. To me, this is liquid gold!
Bagna cauda – loosely translated as “hot bath” in Italian – is made from butter, garlic and anchovies and is commonly used as a dip for vegetables and originated from Piedmont in Italy. I’ve always raved about how deliciously simple good authentic Italian food is. Unfortunately, I never had bagna cauda while on my visits to Italy. I came across this recipe online while I was looking for a simple anchovy sauce and boy am I glad I found it.
I made a batch of this to go with some home-made ricotta gnocchi (next post) and saved the rest as a salad dressing a few days later. The sauce keeps well in the refrigerator and solidifies because of the butter but is easily warmed up, melted and re-used.
Butter, garlic, anchovies – so simple but so lusciously good.
BAGNA CAUDA AKA LIQUID GOLD
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped anchovies (I used about 5-6 fillets in oil, rinse well if using salt packed ones)
113g (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used 100g)
1/2 cup olive oil (I used 1/4 cup because the amount of oil and butter scared me a little)
1/2 tsp finely chopped lemon zest
3 tsp fresh lemon juice, to taste
Salt to taste (I added only a tiny pinch)
1. Pulverise the garlic and anchovies into a smooth paste using a mortar and pestle.
2. Melt butter in a small saucepan, add in olive oil.
3. Transfer anchovy paste to the butter and oil, mix and bring to a simmer. Continue to let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
4. Remove the pan from the heat, add in lemon zest and juice and salt to taste. Once you’re happy with the balance of the sauce, you may dive right in…or save for later.