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No. 13. Neapolitan Anchovy Sauce Recipe

Neapolitan Anchovy Sauce is a traditional Italian recipe that has been enjoyed for generations. This savory sauce is made using anchovies, fennel, flour, spices, parsley, marjoram, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and cream. It is a versatile sauce that can be used in various dishes, adding a burst of flavor and richness.

Anchovies have long been a staple in Italian cuisine, and they are an essential ingredient in this sauce. These small, oily fish are packed with umami flavor and are frequently used to enhance the taste of many dishes. The combination of anchovies with fennel, flour, and spices creates a unique flavor profile that is both savory and slightly sweet.

To start making the Neapolitan Anchovy Sauce, wash three anchovies in vinegar to remove any excess saltiness. Then, bone and pound them in a mortar until you achieve a smooth paste-like consistency. The addition of chopped fennel and a pinch of cinnamon enhances the depth of flavors.

Next, mix in a teaspoonful of chopped parsley and marjoram, which adds a fresh and aromatic element to the sauce. Squeeze some lemon juice into the mixture to add a touch of tanginess. A teaspoonful of flour helps thicken the sauce, giving it a creamy texture.

To make the sauce richer and more indulgent, add half a gill of boiled cream. This ingredient brings a velvety consistency and adds a lusciousness that complements the other ingredients. Additionally, incorporating the bones of the fish in the sauce further enhances its flavor.

Pass the mixture through a sieve to obtain a smooth and uniform sauce. This step ensures that the texture is creamy and free of any lumps or chunks. To add a delightful kick, insert a clove of garlic with a cut in it into the sauce and allow it to infuse while boiling.

Bring the sauce to a boil, allowing all the ingredients to meld together and create a harmonious flavor profile. If the fish you are using to accompany the sauce has been cooked in the oven, feel free to add a little of the cooking liquor to the sauce. This will enhance the overall taste and create a perfect balance of flavors.

Before serving, make sure to remove the garlic clove from the sauce. While it has added a subtle flavor during the cooking process, leaving it in the sauce could overpower the other ingredients.

Although anchovies are the traditional choice, you can also experiment with different options. This sauce can be made using caviar, pickled tunny, or any other pickled fish. Each variation will provide different flavors and add a unique touch to your dishes.

Neapolitan Anchovy Sauce is incredibly versatile and can be used in various recipes. It can be served as a dipping sauce for vegetables, seafood, or bread. You can also use it to dress pasta, simply by tossing it with freshly cooked noodles. Additionally, this sauce can be used to enhance the flavors of roasted or grilled fish, adding a burst of richness and depth.

In conclusion, Neapolitan Anchovy Sauce is a classic Italian recipe that has stood the test of time. Its combination of anchovies, fennel, flour, spices, parsley, marjoram, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and cream creates a sauce that is flavorful, aromatic, and versatile. Whether used as a dip, dressing, or accompaniment to seafood, this sauce is sure to elevate any dish it is paired with.

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