Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Bagna Cauda

bagna

This is a fantastic appetizer.
It is a Piemontese recipe from the Northern part of Italy. There are so many different versions of this wonderful hot dip.

Bagna Cauda is Latin, in Italian it is Bagna Calda, meaning "hot bath". Spell it however you want.



It is FANTASTIC served with toasted bread and blanched vegetables, which is the traditional way. It is much like a fondue! Everyone stands around the little sterno pot and dips!
My mother-in-law's famiglia used to keep it warm on a hot brick! (now that's inventive!).



The hardest part is finding the right pot for it!
I have a Le Creuset fondue pot, but it doesn't get it hot enough.



This lovely stainless pot was found by my friend Stephanie at Target!
She served the bagna cauda with blanched cauliflower, green beans and bell peppers.



There are so many different recipes for bagna cauda. It's just a difference in the amount of anchovies and garlic cloves you use.
Mario Batali uses milk in his, and I have seen others that use cream.

This recipe is from The Little Italy Cookbook, a Brooklyn/NJ sort of cookbook that has so many great recipes. I love to visit this book, it reminds me of my friends growing up and their Italian American mothers' wonderful cooking.

Bagna Cauda: (from The Little Italy cookbook)

1 cup good extra virgin olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (you can also slice your garlic)
6 anchovy fillets (the ones packed in salt are best), rinsed & chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp of chopped fresh Italian parsley

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a double boiler over medium heat for 8 minutes, until the oil is hot.
Turn off the heat but leave the pot on the stove (or sterno, if using). Add the anchovies, pepper flakes and black pepper; keep warm for 20 minutes, allowing the flavors to combine thoroughly. Add the parsley and dip away!!



10 comments:

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Bagna cauda is great and you made it just the way I had it in Torino. They served it with Belgian endive too. I love that little pot and stand too. so cute.

Anonymous said...

AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! What memories!
My aunt and second cousin were the champion bagna cauda makers..
We used celery bent to make a very convenient "boat" to hold plenty of bagna, held over a slice of great Italian bread. Around the table we'd walk while the pot stayed hot on a HOT BRICK!! It was a major argument if someone used their hunk of bread for dipping!
Thanks for the memories.
with love,
mil

The Japanese Redneck said...

This is one of the reasons I love your blog so much. You teach me things I've never heard about before.

Thanks,
Ramnona

kat said...

I've never had this but of my it sounds so good!

Nancy said...

Love bagna caulda! We use electric frying pans, with four people to a pan. Works great. Love it! Hmmm I think this would be great during the holidays.

The Food Hunter said...

I've got to get a copy of that book. I'm sure it will bring back lots of food memories.

Table Talk said...

I love the idea of gathering around the pot with friends/family...fun to have something a little different, and delicious!

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is great for a party. Nothing better than dipping, and eating and sipping on some wine with your peeps!

Antonietta said...

Yum!
I love it served with raw fennel!

Colloquial Cook said...

Stacey, THIS is crazy :-) It looks way too delicious, I'll have to go make myself another jam toast before I go to bed because I'm hungry again.