Italian Cuisine and Anchovies
What Are Anchovies?
Anchovy is a famous small fish that can be found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean; however it is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans as well.
We can find this fish in different Italian regions and in traditional recipes, like Liguria, Sicily and in Piemonte too, due to the salting practice. In our store, you can find even a refined condiment made with anchovies, an authentic Italian food that produces a unique taste in your pasta recipes. In Italy is commonly known as “colatura di alici”, a traditional Italian fish sauce made in Cetara, a small fish town in Campania.
In the past, Romans used garum, made with fermenting anchovies in brine. This is an ancient sauce probably known to Greeks too. A modern version of garum is produced in Maratea too. It is made with anchovies from the Policastro gulf, coarse salt, and with or without chilli pepper. Most of the salting process is hand made - even in the modern day world. The anchovies will be the main character of this guide. Let’s discover five delicious recipes with anchovies!1. Anchovy Parmigiana
For this baked dish you will need the following ingredients:
- 600 g. fillets of anchovies
- 250 g. of buffalo mozzarella
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g. of tomato sauce
- 100 g. of Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- Oil for frying
- basil leaves
- semolina flour
- Put the garlic clove in a saucepan with a tablespoon of extra virgin oil, over low heat. Then add 400 g. of your best tomato sauce and add the basil leaves. Add salt and cook the sauce over low heat for 10 minutes, mixing from time to time.
- Using the semolina flour, coat the fillets of anchovies all over.
- Put the oil for frying in a larger pot, fry the fillets and let them drain over a paper towel.
- Cut the buffalo mozzarella into small pieces and prepare the casserole for the oven.
- Grease the bottom of the casserole with olive oil and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Then create the first layer with the fillets. Add the tomato sauce on top and garnish with mozzarella.
- Once you’ve reached the top of your casserole, preheat the oven to 370 F and bake the fillets of anchovies for 20 minutes. You can change to grill mode (broil) and broil at the end for 5 minutes to create a crunchy top.
- Cool it down and serve your guests this great Anchovy parmigiana.
2. Anchovy Fishballs
A new revisited recipe of the traditional Italian meatballs, ready in a minute, super tasty and easy to prepare. Those are the main ingredients:
- 440 g. fillets of anchovy
- 110 g breadcrumbs
- 50 g. Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 Lemon peel
- 2 eggs
- 50 g. sun-dried tomatoes
- black pepper
- Cut the fillets into small pieces and mince them with a knife. Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a mixer, add parsley, the breadcrumbs and mix them together.
- Put this mix in a large bowl and add finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano and the lemon peel.
- Now it’s time to add the eggs to your bowl and flavor with black pepper.
- With your hands create small fishballs and put them on a paper towel.
- Put the oil for frying in a pan and when it reaches 300 F. - place the fishballs in the oil for 3 minutes at the very latest.
- Drain the anchovy fishballs with a skimmer and put them on a paper towel.
- You can salt them now and remember: They need to be served hot!
A perfect second dish or 'Hors d'oeuvres' for your guests, made with anchovies and other easy to come by ingredients. This is a typical dish from Lazio, suitable for your spring brunch, a dinner with friends or with Italian snacks.
- 600 g. fillets of anchovy
- 150 g. fresh tomatoes
- 350 g. potatoes
- 30 g. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon peel
- black pepper
- Boil the potatoes in a saucepan for 30 minutes, until they become tender.
- Drain them with a skimmer and cut them into small rounded pieces of 1 cm thickness.
- Wash the fresh tomatoes and cut them in the same way as your potatoes.
- Mince the thyme and set it aside.
- Take the muffin cups and grease them with extra virgin olive oil.
- Put 10 anchovies fillets inside, all around the muffin cups and add the lemon peel.
- Add a slice of potato to the centre of your cup, cover it with fillets, add a slice of tomato and another slice of potato.
- Cover the top with other fillets, creating mini anchovy cakes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. and bake your mini cakes for 10 minutes.
- Once the cakes are ready, leave them to cool for 10 minutes.
- Flip your mini cakes and serve them to your friends while they are still warm.
4. Orecchiette Pasta with Broccoli, Anchovies and Sundried tomatoes
Orecchiette (literally: little ears) is a typical pasta from Apulia culinary tradition. There are also known by the name of “strascicati”. Orecchiette are made with durum wheat semolina, water and white flour. The shape of this pasta resembles a shell.
These are the ingredients for this recipe:
- Orecchiette pasta from Italy by De Cecco
- 300 g. fillets of anchovy
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 300 gr. broccoli
- 1 chili pepper
- Garlic clove
- black pepper
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Cut the fillets of anchovy into small pieces and do the same thing with thyme and the chili pepper.
- Cut the broccoli florets and finely cut them. Drain the sun-dried tomatoes, put them on a paper towel and cut them with a knife.
- Heat a saucepan, add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to warm up the breadcrumbs for 2 minutes.
- Then pour in a bowl, add chopped parsley, thyme and garlic clove.
- In a casserole, bring to boil salt water and add the broccoli florets. Cook them until they become tender.
- In the meantime, put one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan and prepare under low heat the fillets.
- Now, you can drain the broccoli florets into the saucepan with fillets and as a final touch, add the sun-dried tomatoes.
- Cook the pasta al dente and once the orecchiette are ready, drain them and then add to the saucepan to cook on low heat for 2 minutes with the other ingredients.
- Garnish with a tablespoon of breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and serve it to your guests!
5. Roasted peppers with anchovies
Roasted peppers are the main characters of this recipe. You can serve them as a delicious appetizer. The mixture of chopped fillets of anchovy with herbs enhances the flavor of this dish.
- 400 g. of roasted peppers
- fresh chili pepper
- 12 fillets of anchovies
- garlic clove
- Extra virgin olive oil
- You can find roasted peppers in our online store too, or you can prepare them by yourself. Preheat the oven at maximum heat. Wash your fresh peppers and dry them with a cloth. Put the peppers on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 F for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven once the exterior has become crunchy and toasted.
- Cut open the fresh peppers and remove the seeds with a spoon.
- Either peel off the skin with your hands or with a small knife. You don't have to do this with the peppers in jars.
- Cut the peppers into fine strips and let them rest on a paper towel.
- Chop the garlic clove with chili pepper, parsley and a pinch of extra virgin olive oil.
- Now lay each fillet of fresh peppers on the fillets of anchovy. Roll up the fillets and create small rolls.
- Now you can garnish your roasted peppers with anchovies with mixed herbs. They’re a delicious second dish or a light appetizer for your friends.
We hope you like these recipes. Follow us on our website to discover our weekly suggestions from the Bel paese culinary tradition!