Eggs and Anchovies – A Venetian Cicchetto


If I have to visualise the best scenario for an aperitivo, I see a Venetian square bathed in the warmth of a summer evening light. The square is not crowded, but lively with people gathering and forming small, chatty groups standing at the doorsteps of the most popular bars. I see a handful of friends around me, each of them with their drink in hand,  all of us cheering, suddenly relaxed by the simple presence of each other as we chat the evening away. I see someone going back for a refill and some nibbles – perhaps some crostini or cicchetti. And one of them will certainly be eggs and anchovies.

Eggs and anchovies (meso ovo, in the local dialect) is a traditional Venetian cicchetto, which can be found in almost all the respectable bàcari in town. A poor dish, aimed at satisfying some serious peckishness with simple, easy-to-get ingredients, it has for long been one of the most democratic snacks to go with the glass of wine. they are as good consumed in a Venetian alley as they are at home, perhaps with a glass of

Now, if you don’t find yourself any close to a Venetian square, rest assured that they will be as good at home, better still with a spritz to keep the Venetian theme.

Meso Ovo con l’Aciugheta

 serves 4
4 quality eggs
8 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained
capers (optional)

freshly ground pepper & rock sea salt, to taste

Place the eggs in a large saucepan filled with cold water set over a medium heat.
When the water starts to boil, remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and leave for 10 minutes. Drain and cool under cold water, then peel and halve. Season to taste. Roll the anchovies and place on top of egg halves. Fit a caper in the middle if you like. Serve.

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  1. Emiko July 30, 2013

    I feel we are on the same page with our feelings about aperitivo! From that first picture you painted right to the recipe, I feel like exclaiming, "me too!" To me, the Venetian way IS the way and I love the old-fashioned simplicity – the perfect simplicity – of these eggs. x

  2. Juls @ JulsKitchen July 30, 2013

    I can't wait to finally visit Venezia again and follow Emiko's and yours tips on places to see and visit to have a proper Venetian aperitivo! Hard boiled eggs are also a family favourite for simple appetizers for lunches, dinners and informal gatherings!


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