Baccalà is salt cod imported in Italy from Norway. It was long considered a poor man’s food because it was cheap, and allowed people who couldn’t afford fresh fish or lived far from the coast, to eat fish in the days of lent. Also stockfish, dried cod, or Stoccafisso in Italian is often confused with it.
Baccalà or salt cod doesn’t seem to be a food to get excited about but notoriously Italian cooks do miracles with any kind of ingredients. They created a lot of very tasty recipes, to the point that today Baccalà is considered a delicacy.
Baccalà comes in large pieces of 6 inch x 12 inch x 2 inch thick to be soaked overnight until tender. It is very salty therefore the water needs to be changed several times until the proper taste and consistency is reached. Can be also found in fillets already pre-soaked.
1 1/2 lb (600 g) dry salt cod, soak in water overnight
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb (200 g) onion, finely sliced
1/2 cup tomato, pureed
3 tablespoons raisin
Place the salt cod in a container to soak in water overnight, or as long as it's necessary to become tender, changing water occasionally. Eliminate the skin and eventual bones, and cut the fish in large pieces.
Put oil in a saucepan and turn heat to medium. Add onion, red pepper, and sauté until onion become soft. Eventually, add eventually 1 - 2 tablespoons of water if necessary.
Add tomato and cook stirring for about 10 minutes.
Add the cod pieces ...
... and the raisins.
Distribute the tomato evenly on the cod fish.
Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cod becomes tender. Adjust salt after the cod is cooked and only if necessary.