Baccalà alla Marchigiana

Baccalà alla Marchigiana

Baccalà alla Marchigiana Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • olive oil

  • salt & pepper, to taste

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tsp marjoram

  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1 large can (28 oz) tomatoes (whole or diced)

  • 1 lb baccalà, soaked, and cut into 3 inch chunks (See Notes below)

  • salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400˚.

  2. Season potatoes with salt & pepper, toss with a splash of olive oil, and roast on a baking sheet for 20 minutes at 400˚.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes

  4. Add garlic & parsley and continue to sauté for another minute.

  5. Add tomatoes & marjoram, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook, uncovered,  for 30 minutes. If sauce is “tight”, meaning too dry, add water.

  6. Add roasted potatoes and continue simmering for another 20 minutes. Add water if necessary.

  7. Add baccalà to the tomato sauce and place pan into the 400˚ oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Taste before seasoning with salt & pepper, if necessary.

  8. Serve immediately.

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Variations

Whereas baccalà is cod that has been salted and dried, stoccafisso is cod that has been dried but not salted. Once properly prepared, both forms can be cooked in a variety of ways. The portions can be baked in a sauce as above, pan-fried, baked, grilled, or poached and served in a salad. Recently, I watched a re-broadcast of Molto Mario as he used baccalà to make “fish balls,” which he deep-fried. In other words, the only thing limiting how baccalà might be prepared is your own imagination. And for those who believe that fresh or frozen cod is just as good as baccalà, I caution against mouthing such heresy in the presence of Zia’s Youngest Son. A word to the wise is sufficient.

Notes

Baccalà must be thoroughly rinsed and soaked before you can cook it. If it is salted and fully dried (pic on left), it will take 2 days to get it re-hydrated and de-salted  (pic on right). This is readily  accomplished by placing it in a large baking  dish filled with cold water and changing the water occasionally over the course of the 2 days. I find it helps to let the water run gently into the dish a few times, as well. If, as was the case with my most recent purchase, your baccalà is not fully dried but refrigerated, you may be able to get away with a 1 day soak. You will know when the fish is ready by its appearance, feel, and, yes, its smell. Be careful, however, not to let it soak for too long or to run the water too forcefully. The fish could lose its firm texture and might even disintegrate.

Baccalà alla Marchigiana

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