Baccalà alla Vicentina

Salt Cod in the Vicenza Style

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

From the lovely city of Vicenza comes this famous dish, considered by many to be the very best way to enjoy the real pleasures of baccalã or salt cod. In some versions of this ancient recipe, raisins or currants are added to the dish with the onions, or they are mixed into the oil with the anchovies, garlic and parsley towards the end of cooking. Like many other dishes of its kind, baccalà cooked this way always tastes better when it is left to cool and then reheated at a later date, and is traditionally served on top of white polenta.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml/3 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 800 g/ lb pre-soaked salt cod (see Cook’s Tip)
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 250 g/9 oz onions, thinly sliced
  • 750 ml/ pints/3 cups full-fat/whole milk
  • 4 salted anchovies, boned, washed and dried
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt

Method

  1. Put the flour on a plate. Wash and trim the soaked fish, removing any skin or bones. Cut the fish into chunks and toss lightly in the flour.

  2. Heat the butter and sunflower oil in a large, heavy pan, add the onion slices and fry them gently until lightly browned.
  3. Lay the floured fish in the pan and fry it gently on each side to brown it evenly.

  4. Pour over the milk, then cover and simmer very gently for about ½ hours.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the anchovies finely and put into a bowl. Add the parsley, garlic and oil, and mix well. Season with salt if needed.
  6. Stir the parsley and anchovy mixture into the fish mixture. Cover and cook for a further 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Serve piping hot.