Zuppa di Acciughe (Bagnun)

Alan Tardi / October 2012

Besides these three classics, there are numerous other traditional uses for gallette del marinaio, one of which was recently brought to my attention at the nearly inaccessible restaurant Mulin da Drin in the Punta Chiappa area of Camogli. Zuppa di acciughe (otherwise known as bang) is one of the old typical dishes of this area, said Faustina Bozzo, cook and proprietress (along with her daughter, Sandra Mazzone) of this casually charming osteria right on the rocky coast overlooking the Gulf of Paradise. Both of the women’s husbands spent time on the sea, as did Faustina’s father, Andrea (Drin) before he settled on terra firma and, around 1948, turned the long extant family mill—which had ground olives for oil, grain for flour, and pine needles to dye fishing nets—into a rustic eatery catering to sea-savvy local residents and the occasional intrepid tourist. “It’s a simple fishermen’s dish they would throw together once they came home from the sea.” But how does something so simple taste so good? “The ingredients have to be top quality,” said Faustina (who mentioned that the anchovies were brought that morning by a fisherman from Punta Chiappa), “and it must be prepared with passione.”

Read more in Legends of Liguria, by Alan Tardi.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh anchovies, heads and insides remover, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 lb. ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, or 2 cups peeled canned tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced, plus 1 whole clove
  • 1 sm. onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 sm. bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, preferably Ligurian
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 gallette del marinaio
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  1. Put the onion, garlic, parsley, and oregano in large frying pan with half the olive oil; heat, cooking until the onion is transparent.

  2. Raise the heat; add the anchovies; cook until they color slightly (about 4 minutes).

  3. Add the white wine; cook until the alcohol is evaporated (about 3 minutes).

  4. Add the tomato; lower heat; cook until the sauce amalgamates (about 4 minutes).

  5. Add the crushed red pepper (if using), salt, and enough water to make a light sauce.

  6. To serve, rub the gallette with the garlic clove and place in a serving dish; pour the anchovy/tomato mixture over the gallette; drizzle with remaining olive oil.

What to drink: Cinque Terre “Costa di Campu” 2011, Cooperativa Agricola Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore)