Battered anchovy sage leaves

A lovely light snack or starter from Antonio Carluccio infused with the full flavour of anchovies
By Antonio Carluccio
Battered anchovy sage leaves
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the batter

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • a little milk, (optional)

For the filling

  • 8 anchovies
  • 16 large sage leaves, whole
  • olive oil, for shallow-frying

Tips and Suggestions

If you do not have a thermometer, you can still check that the oil is hot enough to fry. Heat the oil until it is close to smoking this would read as 180ÂșC on the thermometer. Carefully drop in a small piece of bread or a small amount of the batter. If it bubbles fiercely and turns golden brown in 1 minute, the temperature is high enough. If the bread browns more quickly it is too high.


1. For the batter: beat together the egg, flour and baking powder in a medium bowl, adding a little milk if necessary to get a smooth, thick batter. Season with salt.
2. Put enough oil in a frying pan to cover the base completely and heat gently (see cooks tip).
3. For the filling: sandwich each anchovy between two sage leaves and coat well in batter, allowing any excess to drip off. Fry in the hot oil in batches for about 5 minutes until golden on one side. Flip and fry the other side for a few more minutes.
4. Pat dry on kitchen paper and serve warm. They can also be eaten cold.

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