Sounds Fishy

They belong in a Caesar salad, on top of a traditional pizza, in bagna cauda (the delicious hot vegetable dip) or in a puttanesca pasta sauce. They are anchovies, those pungent, salty little fish that people love to hate. At Aldo's (219 Westheimer, 713-523-2536), they're transformed into an obscure Italian dish called figattole ($8.95) that's found nowhere else in Houston. Owner and chef Aldo Elsharif cures his own large white anchovies in salt, wraps them in fresh sage and fresh mozzarella, encases them in a buttery and flaky puff pastry, and then bakes them until the cheese oozes out. The resulting log-shaped treat is then served on a vibrant, wine-laced anchovy-caper sauce guaranteed to leave your taste buds smarting.

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Paul Galvani