Baccala Messina Style
Adapted from Anna Muffoletto's The Art of Sicilian Cooking
Makes 6 servings
- 2 pounds salted cod, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 stalks of celery, chopped (alternatively, you can use 1 fennel bulb, chopped)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 8 ounce bottle of clam juice
- 2 Bay leaves
- 3 cups of water
- 12 to 15 yukon gold small potatoes, peeled and left whole
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Step 1: Cover salted cod fish with water and soak for 3-4 days, changing water three or four times. Drain and dry fish thoroughly.
Step 2: Dredge fish in flour and brown lightly in 3 tablespoons go hot olive oil. Set aside.
Step 3: In a medium-sized stock pot, brown onion and celery (or chopped fennel) in remaining olive oil until onions are translucent and celery is soft, for about 5 minutes; then add tomato paste.
Step 4: Add potatoes, clam juice, 2 - 3 cups water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
Step 5: Bring to boil again, then simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Step 6: Add cod fish and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes longer. Serve hot in bowls and garnish with parsley (or fennel fronds if using fennel) on stew before serving.