“La Bagna Cauda”

Piemonte

This hot sauce, composed of oil, butter, garlic and anchovies, is the great national sauce of Piemonte. It is used to dress various kinds of vegetables and especially a vegetable which is practically unknown in this country but is extensively grown and used on the Continent—the cardoon. It is closely related to the artichoke, the edible part being composed of the blanched and crisp stalks of the inner leaves. The dish is served in a special and very attractive way. The Bagna Cauda, or sauce, is served in the vessel in which it was made, and stood on the table on a hot plate or over a spirit lamp and kept on the boil continually. The pieces of uncooked cardoon or celery or chicory or pimiento, as the case may be, are dipped in it, and then eaten. It is a most appetising and pleasing dish—especially to those who happen to like garlic.

Ingredients

  • Equal parts of oil and butter
  • 12 anchovies (in oil), and 6 or 8 cloves of garlic, and sometimes a little cream. (In districts where truffles are plentiful and cheap, as in Piemonte, chopped truffles are added.)

Method

Put the oil and butter in an earthenware vessel, with the pounded anchovies and garlic in thin slices. Mix well, bring to the boil and serve as described above. If a spirit lamp is used, care should be taken to place an asbestos mat on it, or the earthenware saucepan will break.

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