Salt cod Vicenza-style

Today we are cooking a recipe that belongs to the gastronomic traditions of northern Italy and, more specifically, to the city of Vicenza, It’s a lovely main course of fish, highly regarded in Italy, and is a genuine culinary gem of the Veneto, a region rich in wonderful dishes. Can you guess what we are talking about? Well, this is the famous salted cod Vicenza-style, brought back to the Veneto from an expedition which took place in the Middle Ages by someone who was shipwrecked on none other than a Norwegian island, testimony to the glorious past of this city. On their return to Venice, the sailors reported how the locals of that far-away country would eat dried fish. And so the people of Vicenza "invented" a simple but really tasty way of cooking it. And that’s not all: salted cod costs much less than fresh fish .... let's see how to make it.

Ingredients

  • salted cod 500 grams
  • parsley
  • capers 50 grams
  • anchovies 50 grams
  • parmesan 50 grams
  • onions 40 grams
  • milk 400 millilitres
  • oil
Information
40 minutes Total time
240 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Soak the cod for two days, changing the water several times. After the two days, rinse it well and clean it by removing all the bones. Then cut it into pieces of equal size. Chop up a handful of pickled capers, half a jar of anchovies in oil, a big bunch of fresh parsley and a quarter of onion. In an oiled oven dish, arrange a layer of the cod pieces and scatter over the chopped anchovies and capers, onion, parsley and grated parmesan. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used up. Once the layering is done, drizzle over some more oil and soak everything with fresh milk. Cover the baking dish with a lid or some tin foil and bake at 160°C for four hours. Every half hour, check to see if the milk has dried out and if so, add some more. Serve together with polenta.

Tips
True Vicenza salt cod must be soaked for two days: if you don’t have the time to do it you could simply buy fresh fish, but the taste won’t be the same.
Trivia
Did you know that you can try some excellent, authentic Vicenza salt cod during a food festival that takes place every year at the end of September in the town of Sandrigo?

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