12 Mar 2014
March 12, 2014

Baccalà alla Vesuviana Recipe

Baccalà alla Vesuviana
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
In Italy, this recipe is a classic holiday dish. For Christmas Eve, it would generally be served at room temperature, as part of a buffet.
Recipe type: main-course
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 2 pounds center-cut skinless boneless salt cod (baccalà), rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1½ cups)
  • 4½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped
  1. In large bowl, combine cod with water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and refrigerate, changing water 3 times a day, 1 to 3 days (see cooks' note, below). Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. In small bowl, combine capers with water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and refrigerate 1 day, changing water 3 times.
  3. Drain and rinse capers, then squeeze dry. Drain cod and pat dry, then cut into 4- by 2-inch pieces.
  4. In heavy 6- to 8-quart pot over moderate heat, heat 3 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion and sauté until softened and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, capers, tomatoes and juice, and salt. Using wooden spoon, gently crush tomatoes. Bring to simmer, then carefully add cod. Add parsley and ¼ cup mint and gently spoon some of sauce over cod. Simmer, uncovered, until cod is tender and heated through, about 5 minutes.
  5. Using slotted spatula, transfer cod to serving platter. Remove pot from heat and stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Spoon sauce over fish, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon mint and 1 tablespoon olive oil.