This hot dipping sauce of aromatic braised garlic mellowed with olive oil, anchovy, and cream traditionally accompanies red and yellow peppers, cardoon, celery, chicory, and Belgian endive. Eaten as a first course or one-dish communal supper, the last remnants of Bagna Cauda are often used to gently fry an egg that, in turn, becomes a new dip for chunks of country bread.
Another great way to use this is as a sauce for a pound of pasta, tossing it, too, with cut-up raw vegetables.
Cook to Cook: The dip can be made several hours ahead and warmed just before serving. Be sure to serve warm, not hot. Pour a red Ghemme from the Piedmont and continue the wine to the next course, which could be grilled meat or poultry with herbs.
Vegetables for Dipping:
2. Arrange the raw vegetables on platters in center of table. Reheat Bagna Cauda to a bubble and stir in butter. Simmer a few moments. Turn into a small ceramic pot that can sit over a candle or Sterno. Mixture should be bubbly as it goes to the table. Invite everyone to dip vegetables as desired. Have crusty bread for swabbing up the last bits.
Variations: In the last century some Piemontese cooks used 1/2 cup toasted and ground hazelnuts in addition to garlic and substituted hazelnut oil for the olive oil. It is delicious. Also, some cooks prefer to lightly grill peppers rather than serving them raw.
Copyright 2000 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
When Marvin Gapultos had a craving for adobo but didn’t know how to make it, he decided to learn his family’s recipes. Since then, he has shared the flavors of Filipino food through his Los Angeles-based food truck The Manila Machine, on his blog Burnt Lumpia, and in The Adobo Road Cookbook.