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The Anchovy Conspiracy & Recipe of The Week

Anchovies tend to get a bad rap. However their bad wrap many times can be attributed to their bad “wrapping.” I’m talking about canned anchovies sitting in oil. They are too salty and have a strong fishy odor. These are the kind of anchovies that often come to mind, however Chef Fabio wants to change your opinion of this small saltwater fish.

Chef Fabio Bongianni addresses the anchovy dilemma:

The first thing to know is there are two VERY different types of anchovies. Canned anchovies are the ones that you may have had a bad experience with once on a pizza, and fresh anchovies from a good fish market. Fresh anchovies can add a great flavor to many dishes and are used in numerous recipes in Italy. Outside of Italy, anchovies are not utilized as much. Given that these anchovy-less countries are missing out on this flavorful fish, Fabio wants to share a few of his favorite anchovy recipes.


Cleaning and de-boning anchovies is not a fun job so find someone to do it for you. Usually the fish market can handle this.

Stuffed anchovies with buffalo mozzarella:

Buy fresh anchovies from your local fish market. Clean and de-bone them. Slice the anchovy in half long-ways, so you have two 3-inch slices. Place a piece of fresh buffalo mozzarella in between the anchovy pieces, making a mozzarella sandwich with anchovies for the bun.  Pass the “sandwich” through flour, then egg, then flour, then egg. Deep fry in sunflower oil, and you have a delicious anti-pasta!

Anchovy casserole/tortino di anchovy

Buy fresh anchovies from your local fish market. Clean and de-bone. Prepare your breadcrumbs; in blender combine day old bread (the more stale the better) capers, garlic, black olives, parsley, and grated parmigiano cheese. In a circular casserole pan, make layers of anchovies, breadcrumbs and fresh buffalo mozzarella. Layer until the top of the dish. Bake for 40 minutes and serve as a torte.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Jessica #

    Thank you so much for this wonderful informative post on anchovies! I will definitely give them another try! So glad I now know that canned is not the only option.

    August 8, 2012

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