Anchovy Ricotta Toasts
2 salted anchovies, preferably not under oil
About 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
About ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ to 2/3 cup fresh ricotta, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
10 (½-inch-thick) slices country bread, lightly toasted.
1. Rinse the anchovies under cold running water, pulling off the salt particles gently with your fingers. Remove the fins and collarbone. Starting at the collarbone, pierce the underside of the fish with your thumbnail and move down the belly to separate into two fillets. Remove the backbone and large bones, leaving the small edible ones. Pat dry. Repeat with each fish.
2. Place the anchovies, flesh side up, on a small plate and pour the vinegar over them just to cover. Let stand for 20 seconds and pour off. Pour enough olive oil over the anchovies to cover.
3. On each of 4 plates, place a mound of 2 to 3 tablespoons ricotta. Drizzle a pool of oil around and over the cheese. Season the oil and ricotta with salt and pepper. Lay an anchovy fillet over each mound. Serve with toasted bread. Serves 4. Adapted from Antonio Madaio of Casa Madaio in Eboli, Italy. –Jill Santopietro for The New York Times T Magazine