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Stir-Fried Roman Chicory with Anchovy Sauce Recipe

Stir-Fried Roman Chicory with Anchovy Sauce Recipe

Stir-Fried Roman Chicory with Anchovy Sauce Recipe

(puntarelle saltate con salsa di alici)

Preparation time : 15 minutes + 10 minutes cooking time

Ingredients for 4 servings

  • puntarelle (chicory shoots) 31/3 lbs (1.5 kg), roughly chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil 3 tbsp + 2 tsp (50 ml)
  • salt-packed anchovies 2, rinsed, drained, and deboned
  • garlic 2 cloves, thinly sliced
  • sliced hot chili pepper to taste
  • salt to taste

Method :

  1. Rinse and debone the anchovies.
  2. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet with the finely sliced garlic, anchovies and chili pepper. Do not let the garlic brown too much but cook the mixture until the anchovy has broken into pieces. Add the chopped puntarelle and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequetly, until the chicory is wilted, about 10 minutes.

A typical roman side dish

Puntarelle flavored with anchovies is a simple and tasty side dish that is typical of Roman cuisine. According to tradition this dish is prepared with catalogna frastagliata, chicory shoots from Gaeta (known as “puntarelle”), so this recipe is especially common in Latium and Campania where this plant can easily be found. It would appear that a fresh salad of puntarelle with an oil, vinegar and anchovy dressing was served as far back as the times of the ancient Romans. Records of that period report that people were very partial to the inner leaves of catalogna frastagliata chicory. It is crunchy and has a pleasant, slightly bitter taste. The best way to serve it raw is to separate it into thin strips and soak them in ice cold water to make them curl up and to partially alleviate the slightly bitter taste.