Anchovies, Manchego and Red Bell Pepper Pincho Recipe and Wine Pairing

The northern Spanish version of tapas, pinchos are small snacks you would nibble on while hanging out in a bar with friends. The only difference with a tapa is the “pincho,” the skewer which holds it together. Each pincho packs a variety of flavours in a single bite. This one combines cured anchovies, strong cheese and sweet red bell pepper in one delicious snack.

Pinchos are especially popular in the Basque Country (where they are “pintxos”, Navarre, La Rioja, Cantabria and Asturias. If you visit a bar in one of these regions, you’ll likely be amazed by the variety of snacks laid out on or near the bar – a true feast for the eyes. While you order something to drink – a glass of wine, beer or vermouth – you pick a few individual pinchos to go with them (and often order way too many because they look that good!). 

Most pinchos consist of a slice of bread topped with various ingredients – from a simple 1-ingredient topping to elaborate flavour combinations. The pincho is the toothpick that holds all ingredients together – giving the snack its name. 

Eating pinchos is a very social activity. Usually, a group of friends gathers at one bar, drinks a glass, and eats a few pinchos, to move on to the next tavern to repeat this all over again. That’s our kind of bar-hopping! 

This recipe combines anchovies cured in vinegar, or boquerones en vinagre, with sweet roasted red bell peppers and a thin slice of Manchego cheese. You can buy ready-made cured anchovies (packed in oil) and roast bell peppers, which will save you a lot of time. The only thing you’d have to do is assemble the pincho. When you cure the anchovies yourself, make sure to source fresh, firm fish with shiny eyes. Start well ahead in time, curing the fish and roasting the bell peppers – keeping the assembling for last. 

Wine Pairing for This Pincho 

The snack packs a variety of flavours in a single bite, and it’s nicely balanced out by a chilled, crisp white wine, such as this Godello

Anchovies, Manchego and Red Bell Pepper Pincho Recipe and Wine Pairing

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Recipe by WineCollective Course: TapasCuisine: SpanishDifficulty: Easy
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4-6 Servings as part of a Tapas spread


  • For the anchovies:
  • 1/2 kg fresh anchovies

  • Ample white wine vinegar (enough to cover the anchovies to macerate them).

  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt

  • For the red peppers
  • 6-7 red bell peppers

  • Olive oil

  • For the pinchos
  • 2 baguettes

  • 150-200 g Manchego


  • Start preparing the anchovies and red bell peppers one day before your tapas party.
    If you use fresh anchovies, ensure they have been frozen for at least 48 hours. Thaw and clean the anchovies by removing the head, the spines and the guts. Separate both halves, wash under a stream of cold water and let them drain in a colander.
  • In a bowl or deep plate, layer the anchovies and salt them abundantly, then immerse them fully in vinegar.
  • Let the anchovies macerate for about 1 hour, then drain the vinegar.
  • Layer the anchovies in a container and cover them completely with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Add parsley and garlic, mix, and refrigerate overnight.
  • For the peppers, preheat the oven to 180 ºC (356 ºF). Wash and dry them, add them to a baking tray and brush them with olive oil.
  • Roast the peppers in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. They are ready when the skin starts showing a few burnt black spots. Turn off the oven and leave the tray inside for 2-3 hours.
  • Peel the skins off the peppers. They should come off easily. Remove the seeds and cut the peppers into 1 cm strips. Place them in a container and refrigerate them.
  • Assembling (right before serving): Cut the Manchego into thin slices. Cut the baguette into 2 cm-thick pieces. Add 1-2 anchovies on top, a slice of manchego, then finish with 1-2 slices of bell pepper. Add one or two toothpicks through all the ingredients, keeping everything together. Add to a serving plate and enjoy!

Wine Pairings

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Creating a great tapas spread is all about variety, so for the next recipe, we’ll go vegetarian and prepare simple yet irresistible patatas bravas. These fried potatoes are SO good! If these recipes and pairing suggestions are just your cup of tea, sign up for WineCollective! As a member, you receive exclusive wines at your doorstep. We’ll always give you great tips on what dishes to prepare with them. Tried and tested, the pairings are matches made in heaven!