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Anyone cook with or use neonata?

ipsedixit May 6, 2013 09:32 AM

If so, do tell ... Please.

  1. b
    bcc May 7, 2013 12:07 PM

    What is neonata? Using it in cooking sounds like it must be illegal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bcc
      ipsedixit May 7, 2013 07:16 PM

      It's like anchovy paste on steroids.

    2. mbfant May 7, 2013 11:03 PM

      I don't actually use it, but see it all the time at my market. In Rome the usual way is to form it into balls or patties and fry. I imagine there's some flour or egg involved. I could find the recipe if you like. I just googled nnunnata (the Sicilian name) and found a recipe for fritters (crispeddi di nnunnata), with egg, pecorino, breadcrumbs, and parsley.

      But let us be clear: I'm talking about fresh neonata, which I wouldn't call anything like anchovy paste except that both originate with anchovies (@bcc: it is hatchling anchovies and presents as a sort of stringy white mass with tiny black flecks, their tiny eyes).

      We also get the Calabrian version, which is preserved in a ton of hot pepper and is sold bulk (there's a Calabrian stall at the Testaccio market in Rome that sells it) or in jars and may be made of sardines (at that age, what's the difference?). Its devotees spread it enthusiastically on bread. Theoretically it can be used straight on pasta (presumably with a fair amount of olive oil). Since these are the two main things to do with nduja, I look on it as nduja for pescetarians -- two thirds hot pepper, one third don't ask, don't tell.

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