Saturday, 18 May 2013

Anchovies fillets "al Gratin"

This is a very summer dish here in Italy: with the heat and sultriness people prefer having fish instead of meat. Fish is much easier to digest and recalls to light sea breeze and refreshing swimming...  
Anchovies are the most poor fish among many, but this fish is absolutely not poor in taste and nutritious value. It is true that anchovies are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that so important for preventing heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases, our brain also benefits a lot from Omega-3. So much benefit with a really modest price (I paid about 3 € )...
Anchovies are mostly used in Mediterranean region, but this doen't mean that they don't have anchovies in the Northern countries, they just have other recipes... For example, in Russia anchovies are usually prepared marinated in brine or canned with oil or tomato sauce. 

Servings: 2-3

650-700g raw anchovies
4tbs bread crumbs
3tbs grated Parmigiano
1tbs capers
1 garlic clove
1/2 lemon
EVO oil

Always rely on your trusted fishmonger for the freshness of the fish and if it is possible ask him to clean anchovies for you. 
Not every person is willing to clean the fish... for me it has never been a problem (just maybe when I was a child, to tell you the truth)... 

1. To clean anchovies, tear out the fish head starting from the fish's back, then pull the intestines together with the head.

2. Keep anchovies aside and when you have finished with all of them, wash them under the cold running water.
3. Next you need to remove the fish spine, just tear it off ad keep the fillets on a clean plate.
4. Cover an oven tray with the baking paper and pour some oil over it.
5. Place all the anchovies fillets one next to the other over the paper.
6. Season with some salt, lemon juice and oil.

7. Finely chop parsley and capers.


8. In a medium bowl mix together bread crumbs, grated Parmigiano cheese, capers, parsley and squeezed garlic clove.

9. Cover the anchovies fillets with the mix and cook in a preheated oven at 220C for 5-7 minutes, or till the surface becomes gold in colour.

10. Serve as a main dish for 2-3 people or as a starter for 4-6.            

Buon Appetito!!!

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