Bagna cauda

Serves: 4-6

Bagna cauda

There is no getting away from the fact that you have to like garlic and anchovies to appreciate this Italian dish. As I love both I rarely have any trouble polishing off bowlfuls of this creamy dip from the Piedmont region of Italy. Traditionally it is served warm but I prefer it at room temperature. Dip whatever you like-my vegetables and egg are merely a suggestion.


  • 3 heads garlic, about 140-150g, peeled
  • 350ml milk
  • 1 small sprig rosemary
  • 100g tin or jar of anchovies in oil
  • 25g crustless fresh white bread, roughly torn up
  • 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • To serve cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, radishes, asparagus, red or white chicory,hard-boiled eggs, baby new potatoes, crusty bread
Bagna cauda


  1. Place the garlic in a saucepan and pour over the milk. Add the sprig of rosemary and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook very gently for about 25 minutes until the garlic is tender. Take off the heat and fish out the rosemary (and any fronds that might have fallen off).
  2. Transfer to small, high-sided bowl (if you are using a stick blender) or the bowl of a food processor. Cool for 10 minutes then add the anchovies and bread. Leave for a minute then blend to a smooth purée. Continue to blend while you slowly drizzle in the oil. The mixture should thicken up slightly. Spoon into a bowl and serve with the accompaniments.
Bagna cauda