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Why we love anchovies - and why you might love them without realizing it.
Let's face it: anchovies can get a bad rap. The pungent little fish are infamously known as a polarizing pizza topping, one that many immediately decline. We're here to make the case for anchovies, and why you ought to give them a chance: they're affordable, full of umami, and you just need a little bit to bring on the punch of big flavor. That's why we love anchovies - and we think you might actually love them without realizing it, too.
Giada makes no secret of her great love of anchovies - it's a superstar dish that packs a huge punch of flavor and is used all the time in Italian cooking. "These tiny fish may be divisive, but in my experience, even folks who claim to hate anchovies love the recipes they star in—after all, who doesn’t like a Caesar salad?" says Giada.
How To Cook With Anchovies
Anchovies add tons of umami flavor to dishes - similar to the way fish sauce adds that special something to Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. It doesn't necessarily add a fishy taste, but a sharp salty quality that punches up the flavor - it's why we love them! Anchovies are available in several forms: whole in tins, in paste, or in an oil known as colatura. They all have their specific uses in cooking.
Whole Tinned Anchovies
Whole anchovies are incredibly versatile. Chop them up fine and add them to dressings, sauces and pastas, or leave them whole and sprinkle them on pizza. For recipes that call for anchovy paste, you can finely chop up whole filets and use them in place of paste.
We recommend: Armatore Anchovy Filets in Tin
Anchovy paste is a great ingredient to have on hand in the fridge. Like whole anchovies, they can be used to pep up sauces, pastas and vinaigrettes (hello, Caesar salad!). It's a bit easier for smooth sauces, as the paste dissolves easily. Anchovy paste might not have quite as much flavor as whole anchovies, however.
We recommend: Cento Anchovy Paste
Anchovy Oil "Colatura"
As this version of anchovies is an oil, its uses range a bit from the previous filets and pastes. You can use a great brand to drizzle on finished pizzas, flatbreads, or vegetables. Amp up pastas with a few drops - a little goes a long way!
We recommend: Armatore Colatura
Ready to give the flavorful little fish a try? Check out Giada's recipes below!