Forget about what you know about the salty little fishes from a jar, these are fresh and are recently available in New Zealand as American import. We’ve heard about how tasty it is so now that they are available to us (cheaply!), let’s make use of them! The original recipe asked for these fishes to be baked for 30 minutes, which I think it is way to excessive being so delicate and small. So I have turned this into a grilled dish taking less than 30 minutes from preparing the sauce to coming out of the oven ready to serve.
So let’s start with the anchovies. They came in frozen and not gutted. So you need to be prepared to get your fingers fishy. Cleaning is easy – cut the head and open up the belly, clean all guts then remove the middle bone. It’s easier than it sounds, just a little time consuming with all these little fishes. Pat dry with kitchen towel and ready for cooking.
Anchovies, prepared as above
one whole onion, chopped finely
two to three gloves of garlic, chopped finely
two to three rip tomato, chopped finely
two tomato, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of wine
salt & sugar (depending on how rip your tomatoes are you might not need sugar)
Put in a nice hot pan some olive oil and the finely diced onion and garlic, stir until soft, then add in the diced tomato, wine, bay leave, salt and sugar if your tomato is not quite rip enough.
Bring the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes then transfer to a large baking / oven safe dish.
Line the anchovies evenly on the sauce as such:
Cover with sliced tomatoes and capsicum.
Because the fishes have been spread out evenly onto a thin layer, you only need to grill this in the oven at 180-200 degrees celsius for 10 minutes, or until cooked. The vegetable will be beautifully caramalised and the fishes just done to perfection.
Serve with pasta, salad, roasted vegetables, bread, or just eat them as it is! It is not an overwhelming taste but just enough for you to enjoy the sweetness of these little fishes. Enjoy!