Venetian Cuisine: Bigoli in salsa


Bigoli in salsa: a traditional venetian dish to try

Traditional cuisine often combines sacred and profane. Perfect example are the “bigoli in salsa”( very thick and coarse spaghetti), an authentic dish of the Venetian cuisine.

According to tradition, in the past they were consumed during the lean days as a penitence dish, such as Christmas Eve, Holy Friday and Wednesday of the Ashes. Actually, it has become one of the most famous and delicious Venetian dishes especially for those who love heavy-bodied taste. Protagonists are few ingredients: anchovies and onions.

The original recipe of bigoli in salsa is simple: first, take 70g of anchovy fillets (not the anchovy paste!) and let them melt and brown in olive oil. Once you get a thick sauce, add two onions sliced very thin and let them lightly fry covered (if necessary, add a bit of water). Attention to salt! Taste the sauce because it may get too salted or in the other hand a bit flavorless. It depends by the anchovies you use. Do not forget pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the bigoli in salted water and drain them when al dente. Then, add the sauce to the drained pasta and cook them together for about 2 minutes (add also a few tablespoons of cooking water if necessary).

I suggest to use the tropea onion, it’s sweeter and make the plate more beautiful thanks to the purple colour.

A tasty variation to the dish: prepare the sauce without using onions but more anchovies and pan fry with homemade tagliatelle. Garnish then with delicious burrata.


Recipe and text by David Marchiori, manager of the Osteria Palaplip in Mestre and creator of the “Incoscienzaatavola” Blog