Nonna’s Chunky Prezza Baccalà
This rustic baccalà (salt cod) dish has remained one of my favourite dishes since I first ate it as a child in Prezza Abruzzo. Like all chefs I love ingredients which are natural soulmates which potato and baccalà (salt cod) certainly are, whilst the recipe’s other pair, olives and tomatoes add a subtle agro-dolce tang to this 1-pan dish.
In Abruzzo baccalà still, retains its crown as being the most popular fish eaten across each of the 4 provinces, which is unusual in Italian cooking as it is not a ‘local’ ingredient. Like most of Italy, its popularity was established through its salty durability that allowed those living in the mountains a taste of the sea. Don’t be surprised by some restaurants in Abruzzo who once a week will create a whole menu around their beloved baccalà. If you join us for an Italian cooking holiday you can experience how it is served on Abruzzo’s UNESCO protected coastline, when we eat ‘local’ and enjoy a 10-course fish extravaganza aboard a trabocco.
- 10 oz Baccala fillets (280 g)
- 1½ White Onions cut into chunks
- 2 medium Yellow Potatoes cubed
- 10 Black or Kalamata Olives sliced
- 10 Cherry Tomatoes cut in half
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh Oregano
- 3 tsp. chopped fresh Parsley
- 1 pinch of fresh Rosemary
- 2 chopped Garlic Cloves
- 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ¾ cup White Wine (180 ml )
- ¾ cup Water (180 ml)
- Rinse and soak the baccalà fillet in cold water for between 24-48 hours before you are due to cook it, changing the water 3 times.
- Rinse the baccalà and dry it on paper towels.
- Mix together the onion, parsley, rosemary and garlic and saute in the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet.
- Cut the fish into small pieces and saute in the herbs and onion. Continue cooking and add the white wine.
- Add cherry tomatoes, sliced olives and oregano and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
- Add the potato pieces and water, cover and continue cooking until potatoes are almost tender.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and finish cooking uncovered to reduce liquid for about 4 minutes.