Thursday, 21 February 2013

Baccala a la Pizzaiola
is an integral part of Italian history with strong roots of poverty.
This dry salt cod was a staple in many homes. Once the fish was salted it would sustain the family throughout the cold months. It was particularly special at Christmas time because it was inexpensive, could be prepared many ways and fed a large group of people.
Throughout my studies and fascination with food, I see many cultures and different nationalities use this fish.
I have never wanted to cook this fish, having been tired of having it all my life and after all it is a peasant dish. Even now I don't request it for Christmas because there are so many other seafood's which I enjoy...but
lately I have been feeling the need to learn something from my childhood that brings back memories of comfort.
So with phone in hand I called, who else?
My mom, to ask how to prepare the fish...this is my journey..
Surprisingly it was easier than expected without much fuss...
2-3 lb of dried salt cod

1 cup canned tomato puree

1 cup wine

1 cup water

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp each garlic powder, black pepper, thyme

2 tbsp EVOO

just a pinch of salt because the fish will still retain some salt.


Cut  dried cod into 4-6 oz portions and place into a large glass bowl or pot.  Cover with water and let sit on the counter but, away from the sun. Change the water twice daily for 3 days.
*This is easy every time you are near the sink will be a good time to change the water

In a preheated  large size skillet add oil , garlic and onions and sauté until  fragrant and golden approx. 2 minutes. Add the puree, water and wine.  Turn the heat up to hi and bring to a boil.
Reduce immediately to med. low and simmer.  Add  herbs and spices, continue to cook for 20min.  *This can be stored in the refrigerator  up to 3 days in advance.  Taste for seasonings.

Place rehydrated fish in the tomato sauce in a skillet large enough to hold everything and cook on med. low until fork tender approx. 30min. and it flakes when pulled with a fork.

Do not move the fish around, but rather, spoon the sauce over the fish to colour it and infuse its flavour. It will begin to release water flavouring the sauce further.

Spoon into dishes and garnish with parsley. 

Serving Suggestion: grab a nice crusty piece of bread to soak up the tasty fish~

Servies 4-8 people depending on portions

Enjoy with love!


No comments:

Post a Comment