My visits to Italy are inspirational, especially with respect to food. After countless trips up and down the peninsula, one thing always rings true – a few simple ingredients of the highest quality are always the best. On one of our last nights in Rome we had dinner at Armando al Pantheon, a landmark in central Rome where we experienced the essence of Cucina Romana starting with a straightforward bruschetta topped with stracciatella, anchovy and a few pistachios. This was something I knew I had to recreate for my readers and so it began.
Stracciatella is a fresh white cheese made of buffalo milk, composed of small shreds generally produced in the provinces of Lazio and Campania. The creamy texture and milky flavor of freshly made Stracciatella is absolutely heavenly. A mixture of cream & Stracciatella creates the filling for Burrata, more well known to those of us in the United States. Both Stracciatella and Burrata should be consumed promptly, actually within a day or so of production to enjoy the true essence of this very special cheeses. Unfortunately, stateside this is generally impossible resulting in a product, although appreciated by many cannot compare to what is had in Italy – so, we do the best we can.
As Stracciatella is often more difficult to locate here, I decided to use the best quality Buratta available, allora Bruschetta with Buratta, Anchovy & Pistachio came to be. This uncomplicated bruschetta defines carefree entertaining at any time of year. The ingredients are few and the process simple.
Quality of the individual ingredients is what makes all the difference. My preference is to use whole anchovies packed in salt, rinsed, sliced into fillets and marinated briefly in a bit of excellent Extra Virgin Olive Oil; sound too complex, I understand – buy some quality anchovies packed in olive oil.
Use a well made peasant style bread as the base for Bruschetta with Buratta, Anchovy & Pistachio, it will make all the difference.
A scattering of chopped pistachio adds a bit of color and crunch to the finished bruschetta. What are you waiting for, Bruschetta with Buratta, Anchovy & Pistachio is ideal for lunch, a light supper or aperitivo time. Grazie Armando al Pantheon, for your warm hospitality, welcoming ambiance, exceptional food and of course the inspiration.
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Bruschetta with Burrata, Anchovy & Pistachio
Inspired by Armando al Pantheon in central Rome, this simple to prepare bruschetta reflects the essence of Cucina Italiana.
Author: Paula Barbarito-Levitt
- 4 thick slices of European peasant style bread
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced into half
- Two 4 ounce balls of Buratta
- ¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios
- 4 anchovies packed in salt, rinsed, cleaned and sliced into 8 fillets or 8 high quality anchovy fillets packed in olive oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- If you are using the salted anchovies, place the prepared fillets on a plate and cover with oil, set aside.
- Drain the Buratta over a mesh strainer to remove the excess water.
- Set a wire rack near the area in which you will prepare the bread slices. The bread may be prepared by grilling outdoors, grilling on a stove top griddle or toasting under a broiler, the heat source must be red hot before beginning. Grill or toast both sides of the bread, watching carefully as not to burn, remove to a wire rack. Rub both sides of the hot bread slices with the cut clove of garlic and return them to the rack.
- Cut the burratta into halves.
- Drizzle or brush a bit of the olive oil from the anchovies (if you are using the salted anchovies, if not use new evoo not the oil from the anchovy tin). Lay a half of the Buratta on each of the toasted slices of bread, followed by two of the anchovy fillets and place on a serving tray.
- Drizzle a bit more of the olive oil over each of the bruschetta pieces, scatter some of the chopped pistachio and serve at once with your favorite Italian wine.
Oh I’m definitely sold on this bruschetta with buratta and anchovies!!! It makes an ideal quick lunch that can be enjoyed alfresco…simply lovely Paula!
It is really a meal – thanks for you kind words Marisa….
A beautiful combination, the sharp flavor of the anchovy makes a perfect contrast to the mild creaminess of the burrata.
My feeling exactly Frank – looking forward to a lazy Sunday, bottle of chilled Prosecco and a few of these…