Have you ever wondered what to do with salt cod? Baccala for Christmas is an Italian tradition. Today’s recipe from our 1st Golden PalateTM Charter Member in Italy, Chef Sandra Lotti of Toscana Saporita Cooking School, transforms dried cod into a soft, succulent gourmet dish you’ll be proud to serve. Another reason I’m heading back to Sandra’s cooking school in Tuscany in a few weeks!
“This is a sassy recipe that embodies the Tuscan passion for hearty flavors and rich sauces.”— Chef Sandra Rosy Lotti
Baccala/Dried Cod Photo by Karl Ragnar Gjertsen Krg
Salt Cod Recipe: Baccala alla Livornese (Stewed Cod)
1 1/2 lb Baccala/salt cod*, reconstituted in water, drained, bones removed and cut into medium/large chunks
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lb fresh ripe tomatoes, finely diced (or the equivalent weight in canned peeled tomatoes, drained and diced)
1/2 tablespoons freshly minced parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Flour the cod and fry it in hot vegetable oil until golden and crispy. Drain it on paper towels and set aside.
- Place the extra virgin oil in a medium heavy gauge pot and quickly sauté the garlic making sure it remains white.
- Pour in the wine and let it evaporate.
- Blend in the tomatoes and cook for about 10- 12 minutes.
- Lower the flame and gently add the fried cod pieces, shaking the pot every now and then in order to prevent the cod from sticking. Cook for about 6 minutes.
- The last ingredients will be parsley, salt and pepper.
- Reduce until you have a dense sauce. (not watery at all) Serve hot with polenta.
*Note: if Baccala is not readily available (it is typically available around the holidays at gourmet and Italian markets in the US), you can prepare other white meaty fish in this style, and it will be delicious! Try substituting grouper, snapper, swordfish, sea bass, or halibut.
Recipe and photos © Sandra Rosy Lotti and Toscana Saporita, used with permission.