This next recipe comes from my hometown cookbook, The Little Italy Festival Town Cookbook. It’s basically a tapenade sauce and comes from Josephine Mooney. I do not know this woman either. Sadly I don’t know any of the cooks in this book. They are from a generation I always wanted to meet but was before my time. I do know a Mooney from my town though and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was her relative.
I have to ask my mother next time I write about a recipe from this cookbook. I’m sure she knows some of these women and probably has a good story to go with it.
Anyway, like I said this sauce is more like a tapenade than a sauce. If you don’t know what tapenade is, it’s a french dish of olives, olive oil, capers, and some sort of fish (generally tuna or anchovies) that is puréed. I couldn’t help but think of the old SNL bass-0-matic skit just now. Thankfully bass and bass-0-matics are not needed in either of these dishes. I don’t even want to think about how gross that would be.
What you do need to make this salsa is 5 hard cooked egg yolks, 1 2-oz. can of anchovies with oil, 1 1/2 cup of finely chopped parsley, a clove of garlic, pepper, and oil and vinegar to taste.
The first step is to boil your eggs. Once boiled you remove the outer shell. Only the yolk is needed for this dish. The yolk and anchovies are then mashed together into a paste, which is not as easy as it sounds. If you have a mortar and pestal I would recommend using that. If you don’t have that, than maybe you should use a bass-o-matic.
After everything has been mashed, you add the rest of the ingredients until you get a nice smooth consistency.
I wasn’t sure what kind of consistency was needed for this dish admittedly. Mine turned out fairly dry and my instincts told me to add more oil, but I ended up not. The end result was ok. I’m not a fan of anchovies. I almost substituted with tuna even, but I wanted to give it a shot. I’ve had anchovy based sauces before where you couldn’t even taste the fish and I do wonder if I had added more olive oil, if that would have negated the fish taste. The anchovy taste in this dish was very slight despite that. For me though, it was there enough.
I’m not saying it tasted bad. I just really don’t like anchovies. If I ever make this again, I’ll probably substitute with tuna.
The recipe in the book says to pair this sauce with steak, boiled meat, or chicken. I paired mine with a baked chicken breast that I marinated with parsley, garlic, basil, and oregano. It went pretty well together I have to say, despite the anchovies. Yuck.