A typical dish from Campania, a southern region of Italy, the ‘alici marinate’ once were a meal of the poor people. Easy to make it is also a way to preserve ‘raw’ fish.
Antipasti in Italy, meze in Greece and tapas in Spain very are rich in taste and variety. They should be a starter, but very often they could be already a whole meal. Alici marinate, or marinated anchovy, are maybe a very simple dish, but also very rich in taste. And as a fish lover it is definitely one of my favorite antipasti.
The preparation of the fish in a certain way makes it a kind of preserved food. The raw fish, cleaned and without spine, interior and head, will be ‘cooked’ in vinegar and/or lemon juice for several hours, mostly overnight. During this time the fish’ meat gets from brown-pink to white. A little like if you would boil the fish. After the marinating or cooking time is over, the fish is placed in a deep dish together with some herbs like garlic, parsley and chili, and covered with olive oil extra virgin. Another couple of hours in the fridge before served and voilà!
If you don’t have time to prepare them right after buying the fresh fish, it is recommended to clean the fish and then leave it for 96 hours (4 days!) in the freezer. This way all bad bacteria or whatever just die and the fish is save for consuming. I always buy and prepare immediately, I never did the freezer variation.
The marinated anchovies are great alone, but best with homemade focaccia or baguette. Make bruschetta with alici marinate! Or add them to a mixed salad. How about spaghetti with marinated anchovies? Let your fantasy go crazy!
Let’s prepare a very typical yet unique dish!