CHEAT FOOD FOR LAUNCH OF SICILIAN SEAFOOD COOKING AT COASIT AND READINGS: Marinaded white anchovies AND Olive Schacciate made with commercially prepared olives


I am getting so many requests for recipes about the marinaded anchovies and the squashed olives (olive schiacciate, sounds much better), two of the spuntini (little mouthfuls/ tastes) that were available for the Melbourne launch of Sicilian Seafood Cooking at COASIT. 

These olives and anchovies were presented at COASIT and at the event at Readings in Hawthorn- great compliments and many requests for the recipe- a cheat recipe but very successful.

EVENT | Thursday 17 November 2011 at 6:30pm

Marisa Raniolo Wilkins
Food, wine, book signing at Readings Hawthorn: 701 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, Victoria, 3122

The olives and anchovies are both called my Cheat Recipes and you will see why.

I also made caponata, the Catanese version, which includes peppers. These little offerings, together with the generous food offerings by Fiona Rigg  from Fiona Louise, Marianna di Bartolo from Dolcetti and Alfredo and Lisa La Spina from Bar Idda were very much appreciated by those who attended the launch.


Ingredients and Processes:

I used boquerones (white anchovies) from Spain (1 kilo pack)

Drain them (they are packed in oil and vinegar), add 4 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 1 cup of finely cut parsley and 3 spring onions and cover them with extra virgin olive oil.

Leave in marinade at least one day.

This recipe is nothing new. When we first come to Australia and could not buy fresh sardines (they were used a bait, like squid used to be) my father would buy Spanish sardines packed in salt, wash them carefully, drain them and dress them in the same manner. And he was Sicilian. Sometimes he added oregano or chopped fennel fronds, sometimes capers. The anchovies were stored in the fridge ready to be placed on a fresh piece of bread whenever anyone was hungry and they were also very useful if guests dropped in unexpected.

Accompanied with a cold glass of white wine or a glass of dry vermouth (or dry marsala if we had been able to buy some in the 60’s in small town Adelaide) these marinaded anchovies were very much appreciated. And we never made a brutta figura.

By tomorrow they will be superb. In two days time, they will taste even better.

Not everything need take a long time to prepare. And some of your guests may even like them more than eating fresh sardines treated the same way – some people squirm at the mention of fresh sardines.


I asked my daughter Francesca to prepare the olives for me. The following is her writing:

With two book launches to promote, one book signing, menu preparation for two cooking demonstrations, sourcing wine, book promotion, writing her blog and launch speeches plus a family wedding interstate thrown in, Mum was in need of an extra pair of hands, those I could supply.

I was a little daunted, to begin with, when I learnt my ‘job’ was to prepare 7kg of olives. Not because 7kgs of olives sounded so much and they all had to be crushed in small amounts but I hadn’t made them before and what if they are awful? How embarrassed I would feel and would they come even close to the olives my mother dressed? But there is no cooking involved and I had my instructions – it would be hard to “stuff it up” so I did it.

(for 1 kg of olives, double up for 2kg and so on)
Sicilian Green olives in brine (These were Nocellara brand)
garlic   4/5 large cloves
orange rind from 1 orange
chilli flakes 2 tbls
fennel seeds, 2 tbls
bay leaves, 3-4
wild Fennel fronds/ leaves/green stuff  (failing this, use extra fennel seeds,1 tbs)
extra Virgin olive oil, about a litre- you need enough to cover the olives



Drain the brine from the olives, no need to rinse them. I used a mortar and pestle to crush the olives, a handful at a time and they don’t require much force.
Roughly chop the garlic and wild fennel fronds.  Place the crushed olives into a jar or sealable plastic container and add the chilli, wild Fennel, bay leaves, orange peel and garlic and cover them completely with olive oil.

The olives need to be keep completely under oil at all times and should be stored in the fridge.  I placed a plate over the olives to keep them under the oil level. The oil will solidify so the olives need to be removed from the fridge a couple of hours before eating and the oil drained off. Remember to keep and re-use the flavoured oil – great for salads and cooking.

Carlo Carli at launch of Sicilian Seafood Cooking
 Marisa greets woman


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