Anchovy, Oil and Garlic Dip

At the end of this month the Pro Loco of Spigno Monferrato will organize the Bagna Cauda  which is a very good dip sauce based on anchovies, olive oil and garlic together with vegetables, absolutely to taste!

Here is the recipe that you can also find on the book “Monferrato con Gusto” published by the Chamber of Commerce of Alessandria wishing to make its own contribution to the preservation of the cultural and gastronomic heritage of the Monferrato area promoting the Mediterranean diet as a healthy and well-balanced eating model, whose origins lies in traditional recipes of the past, with consolidated process and preparation methods survived until today.

 INGREDIENTS (serves 6)

  • 200 g of salted anchovies (roughly a dozen);
  • 2 bulbs of garlic;
  • 250 cl of extra virgin olive oil from Liguria (or a similar delicate equivalent);

Vegetables which are required:

  • a thistle artichoke from Nizza Monferrato;
  • a pepper;
  • a fennel;
  • some tender celery stalks;
  • some Jerusalem artichokes;
  • fresh spring onions;
  • a white turnip;
  • a green apple.

In addition to the raw vegetables some people like to add:

  • boiled potatoes and cauliflower;
  • baked pumpkin and red turnip.


Clean the anchovies and remove the salt from them using a little dry white wine then remove the bones.  Clean the garlic, remove and discard the core, then chop it up into the earthenware pan then add the anchovies and the garlic and cook them on a low flame for 15 minutes.  It is important not to fry the anchovies and the garlic so as not to give a bitter taste to the dip.  Keep the Bagna Cauda hot by placing it in the appropriate raised dish which contains a small candle. The raw vegetables should be thoroughly cleaned, cut into rods and placed in a big serving bowl.  Each diner can then use the raw vegetable strips as a spoon, dipping it into the Bagna Cauda and bringing it up to their mouth with the help of a small chunks of bread.

You can drink wines as the Grignolino of Monferrato Casalese DOC or the Barbera d’Asti DOCG.

At Villa Cheti we drink our own red wine production!

bagna cauda

It’s a traditional dish of Piedmont very convivial, suitable for family holidays, parties and long tables with many people. Each diner has the characteristic raised dish under which a small candle can be inserted to keep the dip hot, hence the name Bagna Cauda (hot dip). The raw vegetables are dipped into the sauce.  First thistle artichoke of Jerusalem artichoke, after which any combination of cabbage leaves, fennel, celery, crab apple and other winter greens. Should the Bagna Cauda dip be the main meal, it will be necessary to prepare further boiled and baked vegetables in addition to the raw ones. These could be potatoes, pumpkin and cauliflower.  Baked polenta could also be added as a filler.  An old peasant custom was to put scrambled egg into the raised dish at the end of the meal and use any remaining bread to eat it up and ENJOY your Bagna Cauda!

If you cannot enjoy the Bagna Cauda in Spigno Monferrato you can have the chance to taste it February 20th at 8 pm in Mombaldone!  You cannot miss …