Bagna Cauda – All About the Italian Garlic Dip

Bagna Cauda.

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This is Northern Italy’s creamy garlic sauce that will make you keep coming back for more!  But warning…. you may not want to plan on leaving the house after you eat the jam packed garlicky goodness!

Bagna Cauda is by definition a hot dish of dipping sauce in the Italian cuisine, originating in the Northwest region of Piedmont, used to dip vegetables in.

I’ve learned from living in Piedmont for almost 10 years now, that Bagna Cauda is a cherished dish.  It is something very special and unique to the people who come from this area.

Each family seems to have their own secret or very slight difference in their preparation behind this beloved sauce but it is really quite simple, a base of anchovies, garlic (lots and lots of garlic), oil, and cream (depending on the family recipe).

This recipe can be really fun to serve at a big table of friends and family, because traditionally it is presented as a meal all in its own.  With a big platter of cut up vegetables in the middle of the table: carrots, cabbage, peppers, fennel, potatoes, celery; and each guest is placed with an individualised portion of the sauce in a hot dish with a candle underneath to keep it warm.

(as seen in picture from the recipe on the website giallozafferano.com)

Or you can simply serve it hot in a small portion for each diner without the fancy serving dish.

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Bagna Cauda can also be served as an appetiser dish in itself, served over oven baked peppers, my mother in law’s speciality dish.

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It can also be drizzled on top of a pasta or even meat dish.  You can get creative, if you like garlic and anchovies why not use it as a dressing for a salad.

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We love Bagna Cauda and will come up with any excuse to add a touch of this garlicky goodness to our menu!