Veneto is famous for the tradition of cicchetti: the Italian version of tapas and pintxos: delicious finger food as an aperitif with a traditional taste. In Veneto, Baccalà refers to stockfish, but salt cod can also be used to create one of the most famous types of Venetian cicchetti, creamed cod or Baccalà mantecato.
Recommended wine pairing: Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Col Fondo, Ca ‘dei Zago
The creaminess of Baccalà creamed cod recalls the lively perfumed bubble of Prosecco. Ca ‘dei Zago stands out for not being an industrial or cheap product, one of the few exceptions in the category.
- 800g/28oz stockfish or salt cod – if not already pre-soaked, soak as per packet instructions ahead of time.
- 200ml/¾ cup milk
- 200ml/¾ cup mild extra virgin olive oil
- 3 bay leaves
The fish pieces should still hold together once they have been cooked, do not let them overcook and fall apart in the pan.
If not serving immediately, store in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and stir before serving.
- Prepare the stockfish by removing any skin and cut into pieces.
- Put the stockfish in a pan with the bay leaves, the milk and enough cold water to cover the fish.
- Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for around 20-30 minutes, until the fish pieces are cooked through.
- Drain the fish but reserve the cooking liquid. Allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the fish to the bowl and start beating, adding the oil a little at a time. Ideally you should use a stand mixer with a whisk for creating the right consistency, but you can also use a blender, or mix by hand with a wooden spoon.
- Continue beating, adding the oil gradually. Once the oil has been incorporated fully, keep adding a little of the cooking liquid until the mix appears creamy and spreadable.
- Transfer the mixture to the serving dish and season with salt and pepper before serving.
How to Host the Perfect Italian Dinner Party
Bring Italy to you with our free guide to planning and hosting the perfect Italian dinner party!
Find recipes, wine paring recommendations and other tips for a memorable evening, all curated by our team of experts - download today here: