Originally a Piedmontese dip, Bagna Càuda is like an Italian version of fondue, swapping garlic and anchovies for cheese. Sure, you could make fondue, but this isn't the 1970s. If you're squeamish about using anchovies - don't be. Once you cook them down with garlic, butter, and oil, they’ll lose their fishy flavor and taste more meaty and earthy.
1. Roughly chop the garlic. After the first pass with the knife, sprinkle garlic with salt and continue chopping and smashing. If you really want to use a garlic press you can, but it's less cathartic.
2. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat in a nonstick pan.
3. Saute the chopped garlic, taking care not to burn it. You want to soften the garlic. If you're doing it right, the pan will start to gently foam.
4. Add the black pepper (freshly ground is preferred) along with the basil and thyme (neither are required, but they round out the flavors of garlic beautifully.)
5. Stir in the anchovy paste (or filets.)
6. Stir in butter a bit at a time. We're not here to tell you how to dice up your butter, but if you add it in one large stick, it'll take a while to come back up to temperature.
7. Transfer the whole mixture to your food processor or high speed blender and blitz.
8. Slowly dribble in the rest of the olive oil as the processor or blender is running to make a homogenous mix.
9. Pour the sauce into a bowl and top with parsley and parmesan to taste. Serve with sliced veggies and toast.