Christmas Eve Baccala Salted Codfish

Monday, December 9, 2019
Baccalà, or salted codfish, is bound to make an appearance on many Italians household tables on Christmas Eve.


For those who observe Lent, Christmas Eve is always a meatless meal consisting of seafood and vegetables, this salted codfish is an Italian specialty we make every year called baccala.


Of course, many Regions in Italy prepare it differently, this codfish has a bit of work to accomplish this tasty seafood dish.


This is a traditional Christmas Eve salted cod meal and a favorite in Italy, it's great as an appetizer or as a main course served there.


There is a process of making this dish and a little more lengthly that just regular codfish.


This authentic style meal is how it was prepared by my mom who was from the region of Bari and taught by her mom and this recipe is over 100 years old now.


I now make this in my mom's memory to carry on the holiday tradition of the 7 fishes.


This is definitely a favorite on our holiday Christmas Eve Menu.


Scroll down to the bottom for this printable recipe.





Baccalà, or salted codfish is a plate of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala










Always An Italian Favorite on Christmas Eve



Baccalà is salt cod (codfish that has been preserved by packing in salt and drying) sold by the slab, not the usual type of fish/


The truth is that well-cooked baccalà is a delight.


It's firm, slightly chewy, and not at all fishy in flavor.





this is homemade marinara sauce for making a baccala for Christmas Eve Baccalà, or salted codfish is mostly made during those who observe Lent on Christmas for meatless meals served.





The Best Italian Traditions At Christmas



Italian tradition on Christmas Eve, to eat fish and several different kinds.


In Italy salted cod is one of them.




Fried Baccala on a bed of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala




Ingredients You Will Need to Make Christmas Eve Baccala

(measurements found below in the printable recipe card)


  • dry salted cod, (baccala) fish.
  • perciatelli, linguine, angel hair or your favorite
  • marinara sauce recipe or store-bought
  • minced garlic
  • Fresh chopped parsley and basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • Optional Homemade Sauce Recipe:
  • This is a quick sauce for the pasta.





this is fresh plum tomatoes to make baccala on Christmas eve marinara sauce




Tip



Lightly flour then brown the fish in cooking oil until browned on both sides.


The marinara sauce will stick to the fish better and compliment the fish flavors





This is a plate of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala



History of Salted Cod



Cod was caught and dried by the Vikings as far back as 800 A.D.; in fact, it became the center of trade for northern Europe for many centuries.


It first arrived in southern Italy with the Normans around 999 A.D. and very quickly was absorbed into Italian cuisine.


The salt method of preservation meant that people living inland were able to enjoy salt-water fish all year-round.


In Italian, when fresh or frozen, Cod is known as merluzzo, if cured by air-drying it becomes stoccafisso (stockfish) and when salted it becomes baccala.








Preparing Baccala



To prepare baccala, the fresh fish is cut lengthwise, cleaned and has the backbone removed before being salted and air-dried.


Once cod was so abundant it saved millions from famine, but today, because of decades of overfishing, cod is not so abundant.


Now after years of managing the fish, it's leveling off.




This is a plate of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala





Tomato Sauce




If making homemade sauce this should be started when the cod is ready to fry.

Once the cod is fully unsalted cut it into one-inch chunks. Place some flour in a plastic bag and shake the cod into the flour.

In a medium-size pan,  heat oil, on medium heat, add minced garlic to olive oil.

Add cod, browning on both sides, fish will cook fast.


Add marinara tomato sauce. Simmer together very low heat, for 30 minutes. Cook the pasta of choice in a pot of salted water to your taste, we like it al dente. Drain, place some pasta on a plate. Top the pasta with some fresh ground pepper to taste, chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper.

Pour sauce over pasta. Top with chunks of baccala, drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley and more sauce.

Print this out below for the full recipe and instructions.





This is a plate of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala




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this is homemade marinara sauce for making a baccala for Christmas Eve






Pin for later Italian Christmas Eve Baccala Codfish

this is a pin for later on baccala an Italian Christmas Eve meal using salted codfish







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Christmas Eve Baccala Codfish

Christmas Eve Baccala Cod

Yield: 6
Author:
This is a traditional Italian seafood meal on Christmas eve Baccala is served with pasta. It is a salted codfish.

ingredients:

  • This is the process we used.
  • 1- pound dry salted cod, (baccala) fish. This fish will have to be soaked in water and then changed out many times in a 48 hour period and sometimes even up to 72 hours, checking and changing out the water until it is clear. If it's not clear, continue to change out water several more times during the day until the water is completely clear.
  • 1 pound pasta perciatelli, linguine, angel hair or your favorite
  • 1 recipe marinara sauce recipe or store-bought
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • Fresh chopped parsley and basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • flour

instructions:

How to cook Christmas Eve Baccala Cod

  1. If making homemade sauce this should be started when the cod is ready to fry.
  2. Once the cod is fully unsalted cut it into one-inch chunks. Place some flour in a plastic bag and shake the cod into the flour.
  3. In a medium-size pan, heat oil, on medium heat, add minced garlic to olive oil.
  4. Add cod, browning on both sides, fish will cook fast.
  5. Add marinara tomato sauce. Simmer together very low heat, for 30 minutes. Cook the pasta of choice in a pot of salted water to your taste, we like it al dente. Drain, place some pasta on a plate. Top the pasta with some fresh ground pepper to taste, chopped fresh basil, a pinch of red pepper.
  6. Pour sauce over pasta. Top with chunks of baccala, drizzle with olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley and more sauce.
Calories
378
Fat (grams)
16
Sat. Fat (grams)
5
Carbs (grams)
12
Net carbs
5
Sugar (grams)
8
salted codfish, baccala, Christmas Eve meal, Chrstimas Eve fish, 7 fishes, seafood recipe
seafood, Christmas Eve, fish
Italian
Created using The Recipes Generator






This is a plate of pasta topped with marinara sauce and fried salted cod fish called baccala





Don't forget to try our other Holiday Favorites!





Easter Recipes

Game Day Recipes

Best Holiday Side Dishes

Red White and Blue Recipes

Halloween Roundup

Thanksgiving Recipes

Christmas Recipes







Italian Christmas Eve Baccala Cod with Pasta Marinara Sauce Pin




this is baccala and Italian tradition on Christmas Eve recipe




Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2011. It was edited and re-published in 2019.

16 comments

  1. It looks so yummy! Love your tomato sauce...so fine and delectable!

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  2. I love baccala!Your pasta is excellent!Kisses,dear!

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  3. This sounds really good. Is there a problem using regular cod if you can't find baccala?

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  4. Yes this is dry cod covered in salt, so its a process for several days, not sure what the regular cod would taste like. You will have to let me know.

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  5. What a great comforting dish...happy holidays!

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  6. This sounds and looks so delicious Claudia. I don't know anything about a traditional Italian Christmas dinner. But I would love to really enjoy one with this recipe. Buon Natale to you as well. Best wishes and many blessings to you and all of your loved ones :)

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  7. I love cod and this dish does the fish justice. Love all of the flavors in the recipe. Thanks for sharing Claudia. Have a good one =]

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  8. What a lovely dish. I've never heard of soaking the fish until the water is clear. What is the purpose for this. I do this with sushi rice all the time but never heard of doing it with fish.

    This dish looks so appetizing and I really like the thickness of the percatelli pasta.

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  9. Ciao Claudia:) This is a family favorite. Your sauce looks delicious. Hope you're doing well this busy time of year. buon natale bella xx

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  10. Such a delicious tradition Claudia! Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Another great fish and pasta meal. I love that sauce.

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  12. I love bacala. It is no longer necessary to dry the cod but there is nothing like the taste of well rinsed dried cod, no substitute for it. Hard to find where I live now.
    When I lived in NYC could get 2 brands of dried cod: Beardsley and Gortons. I never see them anymore except Gortons canned, which is mostly mashed potatoes.
    Wish you and yours a very happy Christmas Peg.

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  13. Sounds like a delicious addition to our Christmas Eve menu!!!

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  14. I really enjoyed reading about the cod and the traditions. I often see baccala in a local restaurant and had no idea what it was. Your recipe looks and sounds delicious.

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  15. The cod looks delicious with the pasta and is a must try. Love that sauce!

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  16. Looks like a fine meal to eat on Christmas Eve.

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Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email @pegasuslegend24@gmail.com