Pierre Ley Recipe

Baccalà alla Livornese

By Pierre Ley pierreley

Recipe Rating:
 3 Ratings
Prep Time:
Cook Time:

Pierre's Story

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)


1 lb
salted cod
1/2 lb
tomatoes, canned whole
1 clove
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

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.
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.
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.
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

  • Comments

  • 1-5 of 11
  • user
    Pierre Ley pierreley - Oct 26, 2012
    I shared a video of this recipe.
    View video
  • user
    Marsha Gardner mrdick1950 - Oct 26, 2012
    I have never seen an earthenware stew pot like yours. Does it have a brand name so I can research it? It is interesting looking. I am going to have my brother-in-law send me some salt cod as it isn't available here just so I can make this dish.
  • user
    Bonnie Beck sailboat - Oct 26, 2012
  • user
    Pierre Ley pierreley - Oct 26, 2012
    yes Marsha, the makers of my pot are called "Agnelli", and they're from Bergamo, near Milan. They are well known in Italy, and I think they export in the whole world. It works wonderfully for stews, because the heat is well distributed inside and it never gets too hot as to burn your food. it's perfect, but as I said you can use any material that works for you.
  • user
    Pierre Ley pierreley - Oct 26, 2012
    and a nice weekend to you too! I just realized that I wrote my pot was "earthenware", sorry I really meant to write "stoneware". In the mountains region of Northern Italy they were quite common in the late 19th and early 20th Century. Now they've almost completely disappeared, if it weren't for a couple of "luxury" kitchenware makers. Mine has a copper band around it, with handles, I won it at a golf tournament years back and I fell in love with it! Ciao ciao