A guest post from the resident chef and husband. This was incredibly delicious and unbelievably filling! And very quick to make, which is why I’ve placed this in theÂ Quick & Simple series.
‘This classic Piedmontese recipe is taken and adapted from one I was recently served in Italy by two excellent chefs for a fantastic Saturday lunch. It’s super healthy and much more filling that it looks. Bagna Cauda simply means ‘hot bath’ or ‘hot sauce’ in Piedmont dialect and is a kind of super healthy fondue.
You will need the freshest examples of the following vegetables, although you can use that can be eaten raw:
Chicory or other bitter salad leaf
Mixed sweet peppers
Large salad onions
Celery (preferably with leaves on)
- 4-5 large cloves of garlic
- 1 heaped tbsp butter
- 350ml fresh milk
- 100g jar of anchovies in oil (salted are also fine)
- white pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
Wash, drain and slice all the vegetables into large pieces suitable for hand dipping.
Heat milk in a small saucepan. Crush garlic and add to pan. Bring milk to the boil. Keep boiling for 5 minutes until the milk has evaporated and reduced down. Your pan may have some browning on the base. If so, place the milk and garlic into a fresh saucepan, adding the butter and melt gently, taking care not to burn it.
Add 3 or 4 tablespoons of olive oil and all the anchovies and a little white pepper. Heat gently and with a wooden spoon mash the garlic and anchovies into a thick paste. You can speed this up a little by using a hand blender. Once you have a pale brown paste, you can add a little boiling water to achieve a more liquid consistency.
Now you need to make the bath to keep the sauce hot. Boil some water in a kettle and pour into a medium-sized breakfast bowl. Place a smaller bowl (or even a ramekin) into this bowl, and ladle in the sauce. This will create a hot bath to keep the sauce nice and warm.
Serve the vegetables in a large bowl. Dip vegetables into the bagna cauda and enjoy! If the sauce becomes thicker as you eat, you can add a little more olive oil or a tiny drop of boiling water.
Eat with chunks of fresh bread and ideally a fresh young frizzante white wine’.
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@ Lay The Table
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