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Perfect match: Campari and grissini

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian snack recipe for roasted fennel seed and anchovy grissini

By Adelaide Lucas
  • Serves 10
Roasted fennel seed and anchovy grissini
Roasted fennel seed and anchovy grissini

Sometimes, the most memorable, most delicious, most evocative food-and-drink combinations are not the most extravagant dishes matched with the finest wines. Sometimes, gastronomic nirvana can be discovered in the most humble of pairings. Take this classic, but utterly perfect combo of salty, savoury grissini and bittersweet Campari: all elements of the food and the drink are designed to tantalise the taste-buds, to get those juices flowing, so you can move on to the next stage of the meal with a keen palate and hunger.

Mixing it with Campari
The simplest and most refreshing way to drink Campari is by adding a good slug of soda water to the lovely red liquid, poured over ice, with a twist of orange (or popping the top on one of those cute little pre-mixed bottles and dropping in a straw).An equally great-tasting drink can be obtained by mixing one part Campari to two-parts intensely flavoured citrus juice - blood orange or pink grapefruit are fabulous choices as the touch of bitterness in both fruits matches the bitterness of the Campari well. The classiest Campari-based drink of all, though, is the Spritz - the Venetian's late-afternoon drink of choice. To a large tumbler full of ice, add a strip of lime peel, one part Campari to two-to-three parts prosecco (the refreshing white sparkling wine from the Veneto) and top up with mineral water. - Max Allen

Jump-start your appetite with this pre-dinner combination of bitter Campari and salty, savoury grissini.


  • 250 gm plain flour
  • 4 gm dry yeast (1 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling
  • 2 tsp white sugar
Roasted fennel seed and anchovy paste
  • 45 gm anchovy fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds, roasted
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, finely grated rind only


  • 1
    Combine flour, yeast and 1 tsp of sea salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine olive oil, sugar and 150ml warm water, add to flour and mix together to form a ball. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • 2
    For roasted fennel and anchovy paste, combine all ingredients in a mortar and, using a pestle, pound until a smooth paste forms. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 200C. On a lightly floured work surface knock down dough to deflate, then cut into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at time, keep remaining pieces wrapped in plastic, roll out dough to 3mm thick and cut into about 8cm x 5cm rectangles. Spread each rectangle evenly with ¼ tsp of roasted fennel seed and anchovy paste. Roll rectangles tightly, pulling outwards as you roll, and place on a lightly oiled oven tray. Brush with water and scatter with sea salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crisp. Grissini will keep in an airtight container for up to
    1 week (reheat grissini in a hot oven for 3 minutes just before serving).


Note This recipe makes 50 grissini. Drink suggestion by Max Allen