May
2011

ALICI MARINATE

Once claimed by the Kingdoms of Naples and Florence during the 13 th-18 th centuries, the village of Amatrice was eventually incorporated into the central Italian region of Lazio in 1927. The area around Amatrice is home to Gran Sasso e Monti della Laga, a national park that was established in 1991. This park is not only known for its extensive biodiversity,  it is also one of the largest protected wilderness areas on the European continent. However, Amatrice is also celebrated for its fare, in particular the sugo allamatriciana, which is a pasta sauce traditionally made with guanciale (dried pork cheek), tomatoes, and pecorino cheese.


Besides hearty pasta sauces, the local cuisine of Amatrice also includes alici marinate, a dish featuring fresh anchovies. To recreate this treat from home, one must first properly clean the anchovies by removing the fins, heads, and bones. The anchovies are then marinated in vinegar for approximately four hours to allow the acids to sufficiently cook the fish. Next, one should take the anchovies out of the vinegar and delicately pat them dry with a towel. After layering them onto a clean plate, one should then add olive oil, herbs, and aromatics, such as parsley and garlic, to the anchovies and allow them to again marinate for a few hours. To serve, pull the anchovies out of the oil mixture, set them onto a plate, and enjoy the unctuous, rich flavor of this authentic central Italian dish. Prepared in this manner, the anchovies will keep fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator.