Polpette di Stocco

Calabrian Fish Patties


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    4 to 6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

These are the Calabrian version of fishcakes - hot and spicy with plenty of garlic and some grated goat’s cheese for extra pungency. The fish that is traditionally used is stocco, or stockfish, which is a member of the cod family. It is dried and then salted, as opposed to baccalà, which is salted without being dried first. Stockfish from Mammola in Calabria is recommended for this recipe, but another type of fish could be used instead, as long as it is robust enough to withstand the other flavours in the dish.


  • 1 kg/2 ¼ lb stockfish, preferably stocco di Mammola, soaked in water until soft
  • 115 g/4 oz/2 cups soft white breadcrumbs
  • 75 g/3 oz hard goat’s cheese, grated
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 dried red chilli, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp olive oil
  • 400 g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • sea salt


  1. Drain the soaked stockfish, clean and trim it, then flake and chop it finely, removing any bones. Put it in a large bowl.
  2. Add the breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley, chilli and half the garlic. Stir in the beaten eggs, mixing well.

  3. Divide the mixture into 8-12 portions and shape into patties. Set aside.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the remaining garlic. Fry over gentle heat for about 3 minutes. As soon as the garlic begins to brown, stir in the canned tomatoes. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  5. Season with salt to taste, then add the stockfish patties and spoon the sauce over to coat. Cover the pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cooked, then serve hot.