Italian Baccala

 

Baccala: Cod fish, Venetian style

Serve on bread or polenta

The "Fishy Baccala" that Rosemary Clooney sings about has quite a rich history. It's beginnings in Italian cuisine goes back to the adventures of a 15th century Venetian captain, Pietro Querini, whose famous shipwreck off the coast of the far-away Lofoten islands of Norway brought codfish to the Northern Italians. The Venetians created a dish with this new discovery and called it baccala.

For the Venitians, baccala is made with cured cod fish (meaning, it was salted for preservation).

I used fresh codfish in my baccala, as it easier to find than the cured codfish.

Serves two

Ingredients: half a pound fresh codfish

olive oil

Spices: I like it with salt, pepper, and hint of ground cloves. (The original recipe is also with garlic. I like it delicate.)

Toppings: Capers, olives or whatever looks and tastes good with it. (For ideas, look at the pictures I took.)

I served it on bread slices, but it is also very good also on fried polenta (cornbread) or also on fresh pasta like fettuccine.

Fill a pot with cold water and toss in the fish. Turn the heat on and wait for the water to start boiling. Once you reach a boil, turn the heat off and let it sit uncovered for half an hour.

Remove the fish from the pot and chop it very finely. Put some oil in a pan, turn the heat on low, and start adding the fish pieces and the spices. Constantly stirring, continue to add oil until the fish starts to resemble a lumpy cream.

When it looks like a sort of mousse it is ready

 

 

BACCALA VICENTINA


Baccala in Vicenza is different as it is made from the dried codfish and not the salt preserved one like in Venice. To make things easier I prepare the baccala from fresh codfish, which makes it more delicate. At your wish, if you find it, you can use the dry one, but in that case you need to cook it much longer. The taste of this baccala recipe is stronger than the venetian one.

Recipe

Ingredients: half a pound fresh codfish, one small onion, one clove garlic, one cup milk, a table spoon butter, a teaspoon pecorino sheep cheese, salt pepper.
Toppings: Capers, olives or whatever looks and tastes good with it. (For ideas, look at the pictures I took.)

I served it on bread slices, but it is also very good also on fried polenta (cornbread) or also on fresh pasta like fettuccine.
Fill a pot with cold water and toss in the fish. Turn the heat on and wait for the water to start boiling. Once you reach a boil, turn the heat off and let it sit uncovered for half an hour.

Remove the fish from the pot and chop it very finely. In the meantime you fried the onion and the garlic in the butter. Add the fish and the milk and continue stirring at low heat until it starts to resemble a lumpy cream. It should become like a mousse. Add the hint of pecorino sheep cheese at the very end.

Enjoy Tommaso

 

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