Bagna Cauda is a peasant’s dish whose exact origin is unclear.
In the beginning it was likely that an oilsauce from Italian olive groves or walnut oil was used, flavoured with garlic, to which anchovies werelater added brought here via the “via del sale / the salt road” by men from the Val Maira.It was and still is an Autumn and Winter dish, consumed in the countryside normally when farmers hadfinished the grape harvest season, and then were dedicated to work in the wine cellars. It was commonthat everyone would gather for the evening meal and enjoy what nature had provided.
Very characteristic is the method in which it’s consumed: a “fujot” - a terracotta dish was placed in themiddle of the table with the bagna cauda served in it, kept warm by the hot charcoal under it; this wayeveryone could dip their vegetables into the sauce accompanied by slices of bread known as “legrissie”.
The wine served was usually one from the barrel or a lively Barbera.That dipping together was and still is today an invitation for friendship and a tribute to conviviality.
Ingredients for 12 people
- 12 bulbs of garlic
- 6 glasses of olive oil, and if possible a small glass of walnut oil
- 6 hectograms of anchovies
Finely slice the cloves of garlic previously cleaned and shelled eliminating the green sprout.
Place the garlic in a terracotta pan, add a glass of oil and then begin to cook on a very low heat stir witha wooden spoon to make sure it doesn't burn, then add the filleted, desalted anchovies, washed in redwine, then dried, and gently stir.
Cover with the remaining oil and cook the sauce on a low heat for around half an hour making sure that itdoesn’t fry.
Finished cooking, you may add a piece of butter to make it more delicate.Serve the bagna in the “fujot” – a special terracotta dish and serve it with the following vegetables:raw: cardoons from Nizza M.to, artichokes, white cabbage hearts, lettuce, peppers, spring onions slicedand soaked in Barbera wine. cooked: beetroot, boiled potatoes, baked onions, fried pumpkin, roast peppers.
It’s a tradition to whisk an egg in the thick sauce left at the bottom of the pan.