Baccala Messina Style

Makes 6 servings



  • 2 pounds salted cod, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • Flour
  • 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.


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