The recipe prepared by Riccardo Di Giacinto at Flemish Food Bash had all the ingredients of simplicity. A certain type of pasta (or couscous) with butter and anchovies topped with grated orange zest cannot get much simpler. But the explosion of flavours in the mouth is something I will remember.
It is not a combination I have tried before (anchovies go extremely well with olive oil but I had never before attempted them in a pasta dish with butter) and maybe it was for this reason that I was surprised.
Food and Wine Gazette asked this Michelin star chef why he opted to bring a simple dish to Flemish Food Bash. “I wanted to bring a bit of Rome with me. In Rome, when you are feeling good and someone asks you how you are, you normally use an expression ‘come burro e alici’ whicih is like butter and anchovies. It means you are feeling very well. This is a dish full of flavours and synonymous with the Roman kitchen.”
You may want to try a simpler version but here is Riccardo’s recipe.
- 400 grammes Fregola
- 200 grammes butter
- 50 grammes anchovies
- 5ml anchovy sauce (colatura d’alici)
- Vegetable broth
- Orange Zest
Toast the fregola with butter, olive oil, parsley, anchovy sauce and garlic (use the entire garlic without peeling and then discard before adding the other ingredients). Let the liquid evaporate.
Make a vegetable broth using onions, carrots, parsley and celery). Prepare the emulsion by using the butter and anchovies until the anchovies dissolve.
Add the vegetable broth to complete the cooking.
To prepare the orange zest, grate the oranges while avoiding the internal white part. Leave it for 12 hours at 45C to dry up.
Finish off by mixing the anchovy and butter emulsion to the fregola and then sprinkle orange zest over the plate.