So many of our Christmas traditions revolve around food
and most of the foods we enjoy at this holiday time revolve
around fish. Here is a recipe that we enjoyed in my home growing
up in New York City. Baccala was always served in one form or
another around Christmas. Of course the baccala sold back then
had to be soaked for a few days with the water changed often.
My Little Nonna (you can read all about her in my cookbook, Basta Pasta*)
used to soak the fish in the cellar sink but on the first day the smell
still permeated throughout both brownstones. It was bearable, because
it was a Christmas tradition! At the Market we sell salt cured baccala
and the process before cooking is a little easier and not as aromatic.
• 1 Lb Salt Cured Baccala
• 1 Cup Kalamata Olives
• A Few Stalks of Celery – thinly sliced
• A Few Cloves of Garlic – finely chopped
• 1 Small Red Onion – thinly sliced
• 3 Tbs Fresh Italian Parsley – chopped
• Juice of One Lemon
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• Salt and Pepper
Put the baccala in cold water and soak for a day or two, refreshing the war
several times a day. Remove from water and pat dry. Bring a pot of water
to a boil and put the baccala in it, letting it boil for 5 or 6 minutes depending
on thickness (you don’t want it to fall apart). Remove from the water and rinse again in cold water.
In a bowl, break up the large pieces and add the remaining chopped
ingredients. Toss and add the extra virgin olive oil. Add the lemon juice and toss again.
Add salt and pepper, toss again and taste to adjust the seasonings. Enjoy!
*Basta Pasta is a cookbook of traditional Sandroni/Augello recipes that I
originally set out to publish for our children so that they would be
reminded of and appreciate their Italian heritage. It contains recipes and stories of
my growing up surrounded by family and also recipes of all the foods
they have enjoyed and requested over their growing up years.
It was a four year labor of love and is now available at the Market for sale. You
won’t be disappointed. Makes a great Christmas gift.