Pierre Ley Recipe

Baccalà alla Livornese

By Pierre Ley pierreley


Rating:
Serves:
2
Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Comments:

Salted cod was an important item in Italian pantries in the past centuries. It probably represented the only way many Italians could have fish on their tables. It kept well, and it was affordable. This recipe is typical from the city of Livorno, in Tuscany. It only has a few ingredients, so you will want to source the best of every single element of this dish. I normally cook it in my favorite stoneware stew pot, but use whatever you are comfortable with, provided it makes a good stew. (be aware you will need to soak the salted cod for 3 days before using)

Ingredients

1 lb
salted cod
1/2 lb
tomatoes, canned whole
1 clove
garlic
2
rosemary sprigs
1 Tbsp
italian parsley, chopped
flour, to dust cod
salt and pepper, to taste
5 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin

Directions Step-By-Step

1
Cod should be soaked for 3 days in cold water (keep in the fridge and change water twice a day)prior to using. When making the stew, start by removing the skin, and the bones, from your cod. Cut into large chunks and dust with flour.
2
Heat oil in your favorite stewing pot, add garlic clove split in two. When it starts sizzling, add the pieces of cod. Add the rosemary sprigs. Season with pepper (don't add salt at this point as the cod is very salty). Lightly brown fish on both sides. Remove cod and reserve.
3
Add the tomatoes, and make sure you scrape off all the bits of fish that stuck to the bottom of the pot and they blend in with the tomatoes. Crush tomatoes with a wooden spoon to obtain a nice sauce, cover and and leave to simmer for 5 min.
4
Add the cod, cover and allow to cook for another 5 mins. The cod will "soak up" all the flavor from the sauce! Check sauce for salt (it probably won't be necessary to add any)before serving, and garnish with the chopped parsley. Watch a video of how I prepare this dish by clicking on the "video" icon underneath the picture on this page.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Fish
Regional Style: Italian
Hashtags: #stew, #cod, #Salted, #Tuscany

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11 Comments

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Pierre Ley pierreley
Oct 30, 2012
Thanks Maria, and hi Toni, sorry for not replying earlier, but I got stuck in the mountains! I got snowed in, in October !! I only got back last night. You are right, Toni, salted cod is used because the texture is flaky and plump, on top of being traditional for in the ancient times it was the only way fish could travel and keep. You can also use fresh cod, naturally, and it's quite good, but the result is different, especially the texture. In this case you will need to add some salt to the sauce and to the cod.
user
Maria * WWCook1
Oct 28, 2012
Salted cod is common in greek cooking like in Italy. Saving this delicious traditional Livornese dish to add to my cookbook/journal from my travels around the world. Thanks for sharing.
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Toni T Toni6921
Oct 26, 2012
Pierre, does the salt impart a flavor to the cod that makes it more delectable than fresh cod?