Baccala recipes from Italy
Here you will find some baccala recipes from Italy. Baccalà, or stoccafisso, arrived in Venice in the 15th century thanks to Captain Querini, who, after shipwrecking in Lofoten in Norway and discovering this new lovely way of preserving fish of the local poeple, decided to bring it back to its native city. Once the Venetian came to contact with baccalà they immediately fell in love with this product and created more than 40 baccala recipes with it. Here is the most famous one: Baccalà Mantecato or Creamed dried cod. In all Venetian recipes Baccalà stands for dried cod not salted cod.
Baccalà Mantecato – Creamed dried cod
Ingredients for 4 people
About 300 gr of dried cod (best if you can buy Ragno quality)
2 cloves of garlic,
a lot of olive oil,
1 table spoon chopped parsley
Cut the cod into pieces and place them into a pan full of water. Leave it under running cold water for 2 days or change the water regularly.
After 2 days substitute the water with some lightly salted water and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to remove the foam which will form when the water starts boiling. After 30 minutes, remove the pieces of cod from the pan and place in a container with high sides.
Remove the skin and the bones from the cod and add 2 gloves of garlic. Take a wooden spoon or an electric mixer and start to mix with energy slowly adding the olive oil (just like if you were making mayonnaise). The quantity of the oil will depend on the capacity of absorbing of the cod. Carry on mixing till the cod will turn into a nice mousse like sort of cream. Taste and add salt if required. Add some pepper and use on fresh cut bread slices or grilled slices of polenta. Garnish with some parsley.
The difficulty of this dish is the mixing that can take up to an hour. To speed the process up you can use a food processor with the whisk beaters on.
We love to get our students to try out this recipe with us during our culinary courses in Venice.