Go Back

Fritto di salvia e alici or ‘cockroaches’

Next up are cockroaches. No not actual cockroaches, they don’t even look like cockroaches so don’t ask me why they are called that, it’s a Canelli thing. But despite the uncertain origins of the name, these puppies are beautiful.


  • 12 anchovy fillets in olive oil
  • 1 Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 24 large fresh sage leaves
  • Flour, for dusting
  • Sunflower oil


  • 225 g flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 155 ml water
  • 200 ml fizzy water
  • 55 ml olive oil
  • 2 egg whites


  1. Place anchovy fillets on a flat plate, pour over lemon juice and zest. Leave to marinate for about an hour. While this is marinating make the batter.

  2. Put the flour, salt, egg yolk and water into a bowl. Using a whisk, mix everything together until you have a thick custard consistency. Add fizzy water a little at a time then the olive oil. Leave to stand for about half an hour.

  3. Moisten sage leaves with a little water then dust both sides with flour. Take 2 sage leaves and sandwich the anchovy in between, squeeze firmly.

  4. Pour sunflower oil into a large saucepan so it’s at least 5cm deep, or enough to cover the leaves. Heat it really hot, Jamie says to know when it’s the right temperature drop a piece of potato in and if it turns golden it’s ready. Once this happens turn the heat down to medium. While the oil is heating, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt then slowly fold into batter.

  5. Pick up an anchovy sandwich, dip in the batter to thinly coat then carefully lower into the oil for about a minute or until golden. Eat immediately.