One of the most delicious ways to make baccalà is the baccalà alla vicentina, in the style of the northern Italian city of Vicenza, slowly simmered in milk, flavored with a savory soffritto of onions and parsley.
What is it?
Baccalà alla Vicentina is cooked stockfish or cod in sauce. Stockfish needs to be soaked in several changes of water over 3 or even 4 days before you can cook it. Some recipes even instruct to beat the cod with a mallet to soften it before soaking. Now let’s go over the traditional recipe!
- Difficulty: Easy
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 360 min
- Servings: 6 people
- Stockfish (spider type, soaked for about 3 days) 1 kg
- White onions 300 g
- Desalted salted sardines 40 g
- 00 flour to taste
- Coarse salt to taste
- Whole milk 180 g
- Grana Padano PDO 20 g
- Black pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil 180 g
- Parsley to taste
- The stockfish must already be soaked for about 3 days and dried overnight.
- First, chop the onion and desalt the sardines, rinsing them thoroughly under water.
- Then pour them into a pan together with the chopped onion, add a generous drizzle of oil, mix, and cook for about 50-60 minutes over low heat until the sardines have melted, the onions are well wilted, and you have obtained a sort of amber colored cream.
- Now switch to cod, spider variety.
- Take the soaked, boned, and opened fillet with the skin intact.
- Then stuff with a part of the onion mixture, spreading it only on one half; season with coarse salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper.
- Finally, sprinkle a thin layer of flour.
- Close the cod as if it were a sandwich and cut it into pieces about 6 cm wide.
- Equip yourself with a pan and sprinkle about half of the remaining onion mixture on the bottom.
- Arrange the pieces of stockfish vertically inside the pan.
- Cover with the remaining onion, sprinkle again with a little flour, add a pinch of coarse salt, pepper, Grana Padano and pour over all the milk.
- Then add the oil slowly until the cod is completely covered.
- At this point, let it cook for about 4-5 hours over low heat. (If you prefer, you can cover with a lid, while leaving a part uncovered to let the steam escape). After 5 hours the cod will be soft, white, and not too flaky; the aroma will be intense.
- Finally add the chopped parsley, mix, and serve together with slices of polenta, as tradition dictates.
- The last step is to pour a glass of Prosecco DOC to accompany your meal.
Enjoy your meal!