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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Fear Not The Anchovy! The Italian Ingredient You Love Without Realizing It

13 May 2021
by Giadzy
Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
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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 ingredient 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.
Why we love anchovies

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 extract known as colatura. They all have their specific uses in cooking. 

Whole Tinned Anchovies

Whole anchovies are incredibly versatile. Chop them 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 whole filets and use them as a direct substitute.
We recommend: Armatore Anchovy Filets in Tin

Anchovy Paste

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. It doesn't always have as much flavor as whole anchovies, however, so keep this as a time-saving backup.
We recommend: Cento Anchovy Paste

Colatura di Alici

This unique essence is made from anchovies and is similar to Southeast Asian fish sauce. You can use it a little differently than plain old filets and pastes, and it's the star of a traditional pasta from Cetara, on the Amalfi Coast. Drizzle it on finished pizzas, flatbreads, or vegetables. Amp up pastas with a few drops - a little goes a long way!
We recommend: Armatore Colatura


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