A favourite Venetian dish, Anguilla Marinate (ahn-GWEE-lah mah-ree-NAH-tay) can be prepared a day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator. The flavour of the eels improves with several hours of marinating.
6 tablespoons oil
1 lb. onions, finely sliced cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
6 fl. oz. wine vinegar
6 fl. oz. water
2 lb. eels, skinned and cleaned
4 oz. flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
In a saucepan, heat half the oil and saute the onions and garlic for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Add the bay leaves, rosemary and peppercorns and continue cooking for another 4 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and water. Season with the salt and pepper and simmer uncovered over a low heat for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the-eels into 3-inch pieces. Season the flour with salt and pepper and roll the pieces of eel in the mixture. Fry the eel in remaining oil in a large frying-pan for about 10 minutes. Place the fried eels in a deep dish and pour the hot marinade over them. Cool, then refrigerate. Leave for several hours before serving.
To serve, arrange the eel pieces on a serving dish and spoon a little of the marinade over them.