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Author Notes: Bagna cauda means "hot bath" in Italian and is a dip for vegetables. Bagna cauda is seemingly a controversial dish which few should like as it is made with anchovies and garlic. My husband was appalled that I made this for a dinner party so I added a bowl of olive oil and salt and pepper to turn it into a pinzimonio to hedge my bets. Luckily it turned out to be everyone’s favourite dish with the olive oil alternative ignored.
The traditional way of making bagna cauda is to slow stir it over a low flame until the anchovies and garlic melt into the oil. I find that the fail-safe way is to blend them first before heating them so they don’t clump and are perfectly distributed.
Leftover bagna cauda can be stored sealed in the fridge. The leftover spoonfuls can be heated with eggs and scrambled, added to tomato passata with olives and capers and tossed with pasta to make a puttanesca, tossed with boiled agretti or used to cook broccoli or broccoli and pasta. —woo wei-duan
Serves 500 grams
- 80 grams garlic cloves
- 150 milliliters whole milk
- 100 grams anchovies (preferably salted, remove fillets)
- 350 milliliters extra-virgin olive oil
- 5 milliliters red wine vinegar
- Vegetables to serve with cut into pieces: carrots, celery, chicory, endive, escarole, cabbage, fennel, roasted or raw peppers, roasted beets, cardoons, raw baby artichokes, potatoes boiled in their skin, salad onion soaked in Barbera wine, Jerusalem artic
- Place the garlic and milk into a saucepan and cook over low heat for 25 minutes. It should not come to a boil. Drain the milk.
- Place the anchovies, garlic, vinegar and the olive oil into a food processor or blender and blend for 5 minutes until emulsified. (If you do not have a food processor or blender than smash up the garlic with a fork and finely chop the anchovies. It will be less creamy in texture but that is fine.)
- Add to a terracotta pot, double boiler or clay pot and cook over very low heat, stirring for half an hour. It should be warm so as to melt the anchovies but not frying them.