Bagna Cauda

  • by Nonna Box October 9, 2020
  • |
  • Last Updated on April 23, 2022
bagna cauda recipe

What is Bagna Cauda?

Bagna cauda, or càoda (“hot dip” in Italian), is a typical product of Piedmontese gastronomy made with butter, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and salted anchovies. It is traditionally served in special earthenware pans that keep the sauce hot.

History of bagna cauda

This dish with a long history that, although it may seem from the ingredients poor and everyday, is actually a dish for special occasions, of conviviality. It is the dish of fraternity and joy that, according to tradition, is prepared for celebratory moments like the end of the harvest. Bagna cauda is a collective dish that serves to bring people together to celebrate the history and the land of Piedmont.

italian bagna cauda recipe

The origins of the Piedmontese bagna cauda

Although it is usually considered a generically Piedmontese dish, bagna cauda more specifically originates from the territory of Asti, the Langhe, Monferrato, Roero, the Provinces of Cuneo, Alessandria, and the territory that extends south of the city of Turin. Many towns in the region contend for the authorship of this true symbol of its gastronomy.

In reality, however, it seems that the origins of bagna cauda can be found in France, on the coast of Provence, with the name of anchoiade.

The territory of Asti, the Langhe, Monferrato, Roero, the Provinces of Cuneo, Alessandria, and the territory that extends south of the city of Turin all contend for the authorship of this true symbol of Piedmontese gastronomy. In reality, however, it seems that the origins of bagna cauda can be found in France, on the coast of Provence, with the name of anchoiade.

In the Middle Ages the merchants of Asti, during the journeys they made to stock up on salt and anchovies, encountered this extraordinary product and brought it home and introduced it along the routes of their trade that touched the whole territory of what is now southern and northwestern Piedmont. The passage to Italian land naturally involved an adaptation of the Provençal recipe, which was modified, for example, with the use of vegetables.

bagna caoda dip and potatoes

italian bagna cauda recipe

Bagna cauda

One of the most famous Italian hot dips hails from Piedmont, the northwest region of Italy. Perfect to serve on your next get together with friends and family!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Course: Antipasto
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 195kcal
Author: Nonna Box

Ingredients

Recommended vegetables to eat with bagna cauda:

  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • celery
  • boiled potatoes
  • turnips
  • onions

Instructions

  • Peel and slice the garlic.
  • Mix the sliced garlic with the milk in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • When the milk boils, turn down the heat to low and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, until the garlic is soft.
  • In another pot, warm half the olive oil on very low heat. When it is warm, add the anchovies and mix with a wooden spoon until they are broken into pieces.
  • Add the garlic and milk to the anchovies.
  • Mix the ingredients and add the rest of the olive oil; do not allow the cream to boil.
  • Dip cut, raw vegetables in the bagna cauda and enjoy!
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Can you make bagna cauda in advance?

You can make bagna cauda in advance, but it’s best to eat it fresh. If you’re making it ahead of time, make sure to reheat it slowly so that the flavors don’t get lost. Bagna cauda is a great dish to bring to a party because it can be made ahead of time and served hot. Just make sure to keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t get too dry.

What to serve with bagna cauda?

It is typically served as an appetizer with bread or vegetables for dipping. While there are many different ways to enjoy bagna cuda, here are some of the most popular accompaniments:

  • Bread: Bagna cauda is commonly served with crusty bread. The bread can be used for dipping or spreading the sauce.
  • Vegetables: A variety of vegetables can be enjoyed with bagna cauda, including carrots, celery, peppers, and turnips. The vegetables can be raw or cooked. If raw, they should be cut into bite-sized pieces for easy dipping. If cooked, they can be roasted or grilled.
  • Cheese: Cheese is a common accompaniment to bagna cauda. Hard cheeses like Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino are often served on the side for grating. Soft cheeses like brie or mozzarella can also be enjoyed with the sauce.
  • Meats: While not traditional, meats like ham or salami can also be enjoyed with bagna cauda. The salty flavor of the meat pairs well with the sauce.

Can you freeze bagna cauda?

The answer is yes, you can freeze bagna cauda. In fact, freezing can actually help to preserve the flavor of the dish. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when freezing it. First, be sure to use a high-quality freezer bag or container. Second, make sure the bag or container are well-sealed before freezing. And third, try to consume it within six months for best results.

Wine pairing

Bagna cauda is the most Piedmontese of sauces, bringing with it a rich medley of flavors. For that reason, its more traditional pairing is a red Barbera, which is typical of southern Piedmont. With its fruity cherry notes and its freshness and depth, it perfectly accompanies the famous vegetable dish.

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