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Polenta and Salt Cod (polenta e Baccala)

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(Recipe ID: 533)

Serves 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 70 minutes plus cooling

Source: Vito De Carolis

Italian method of serving salt cod atop polenta.


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  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 teaspoons Coarse sea salt *
  • 2 1/2 cups Polenta-stone ground Italian coarse corn meal
  • 2 pounds Salt cod, previously soaked
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil *
  • 2 1/2 cups Pulped tomato sauce

    Oliveri – suggested

  • 1 Leek, sliced
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parlsey, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chives, chopped
  • 5 Dry bay leaves *

    Ferri dal 1905 – suggested

  • 1 teaspoon Dried thyme *

    Ferri dal 1905 – suggested

  • 1/2 cup Dry white wine
  • 4 tablespoons Whole milk
  • Fine sea salt with lemon and black peppercorn; freshly ground to taste *


  1. Combine 8 cups water and salt in heavy larger non-stick saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream.
  3. Cook Polenta over medium-low heat (it should be barely boiling), whisking constantly, until very thick and pulls away from the side of the pan, about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from heat and pour it into a shallow large plate or over a wood-board.
  5. Meanwhile the Polenta is cooling, in a saucepan put the olive oil, tomato sauce, dried aromatic herbs, leek, chives, parsley, onions, and the salt cod cut into large pieces.
  6. Season with salt (be careful with salt, the salt cod is salty) and black peppercorn.
  7. Add the wine, milk, and cook over low heat, half-covered.
  8. The fish should be ready when cooking juices are well retired.
  9. If you need to, add some warm water and keep on cooking.
  10. When the fish is ready, slice the Polenta and arrange slices on the dishes and lay the salt cod on the top.
  11. Douse it with the cooking sauce.

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