Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Livorno-Style Salt Cod

Livorno is a seaside city in Tuscany and one of the most important ports in Italy. If you ever visit Livorno, you can’t miss the long, beautiful promenade that follows the shore – and you absolutely must try their traditional fish cuisine.

This recipe’s main ingredients is dried and salted cod, called baccalà in Italian.


Serves: 4, Preparation time: 15 mins + 1 day to soak the codfish, Cooking time: 1 h 30 mins

  • Salt cod: 2 pieces, about 200g each
  • Tomatoes, peeled: 800 g
  • White onions: 1
  • Parsley, fresh: 1 sprig
  • White wine, dry: half a glass
  • Cornflour: 1 tbsp
  • White flour: as needed
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for deep-frying

Method

Before being used, the cod must be soaked in cold water for at least 24 hours, to wash away all the salt used to preserve it. Change the water at least 2 or 3 times.

Cut the onion in thin slices, then brown them on low heat with some olive oil. Add the tomatoes, season to taste and cook for about 40 minutes, always on low heat.

When the sauce is ready, leave it to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Cut the cod in four pieces and dry it carefully with some kitchen paper.

Spread some white flour on a plate and flour the pieces of fish on each side.

Tip: To make the cod extra crunchy, mix a tablespoon of cornflour with the white flour.

Bring the oil to a boil in a large pan and deep fry the cod until it’s golden. Remove the cod from the oil and leave it to cool on a plate lined with absorbent kitchen paper.

Finely chop the parsley. Transfer the cod on a baking tray and sprinkle on top the parsley and some pepper. Pour the tomato sauce on the fish until it covers it completely, then bake it for 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C. Serve warm.

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