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Bagna càuda, (from the Piedmontese "hot sauce", alternatively written bagna caôda, etymologically related to Italian root bagn-, meaning "wet") is a warm dip typical of Piedmont, Italy. The dish, which is served and consumed in a manner similar to fondue, is made with garlic, anchovies, olive oil, butter, and in some parts of the region cream. The dish is eaten by dipping raw, boiled or roasted vegetables, especially cardoon, celery, cauliflower, artichokes, peppers and onions. It is traditionally eaten during the autumn and winter months and must be served hot, as the name suggests.

Originally, in Piedmont, the Bagna càuda was placed in a big pan (peila) in the center of the table for communal sharing. Now, it is usually served in individual pots (the fojòt, a type of fondue pot traditionally made of terra cotta).

Cardoons bagna càuda
Cardoons in our garden; May
Servings:Serves 4
Calories per serving:1028
Ready in:1 hour 10 minutes
Prep. time:10 minutes
Cook time:1 hour
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:1st November 2012

Best recipe review

Those are fabulous looking cardoons


Mine always look so scruffy

Paul R Smith


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


  1. To a large pan, add 2 litres (3.5 pints) of water, a big pinch of salt and the lemon juice and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove the leaves and trim the ends, run a mandoline or potato peeler down the back and remove any strings, as you would with old celery.
  3. Cut the cardoons into 7.5 cm (3") lengths and drop them into the boiling pan.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F - Gas 4)
  6. Grease an ovenproof dish with olive oil.
  7. Drain the cardoons and add to the dish.
  8. In a separate pan, melt the butter and sautee the garlic until it begins to colour.
  9. Remove and discard the garlic as it has done its job.
  10. Add the anchovies and stir them well so they start to break up.
  11. Pour the butter over the cardoons, sprinkle with Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes.

Serving suggestions

Serve hot.

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