Recipes form Liguria: N° 4: bagnùn

Anchovies - once known as the bread of the sea

BAGNUN DI ACCIUGHE (bagnön d’anciöe) –

The glory of the fishermen of Riva Trigoso (nowadays a hamlet close to Sestri Levante), who used to prepare it on board of a lampara net boat with the mere help of a small coal stove.

Cooking time: approx. 45 minutes
Difficulty level: low
Wine matching: rosé or claret, e.g. DOC Golfo del Tigullio e Portofino Ciliegiolo
Serves: 4

Ingredients: 1 kg fresh anchovies; 2-3 cloves of white garlic (peeled); 1 bunch of fresh parsley; 1 bunch of fresh Genoese basil; 50 g onion; 500 g tomatoes (the sauce variety); 1 glass dry white wine (approx. 180 ml); 2-3 tablespoons DOP riviera ligure extra virgin olive oil; 6-8 ship biscuits (or 6-8 croûtons, home bread); coarse salt to taste

Carefully clean and gut the anchovies and delicately pad them dry. Mince the onion and (softly) stir fry in a pan with the garlic till golden (then you can choose to take it out or not). Add the tomatoes – seedless and roughly chopped -, salt to taste and let cook for 10 minutes. Then put in the anchovies, sprinkle with minced parsley and gently cook for another 10-12 minutes with white wine: make sure not to stir nor shake the pan. At the end, pour the bagnùn in soup plates over the ship biscuits, previously drenched in white wine (garlic rubbing is optional). Decorate with basil an let set for a few minutes. No pepper!

A recipe by Umberto Curti, Ligucibario

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