This Italian recipe is made on Christmas Eve and holidays but I like to eat it anytime and it’s made with the unbelievably delicious dried salted cod which is rehydrated in the fridge for 3 days before you cook it (salted dried cod is a brilliant store cupboard ingredient and it’s available in most supermarkets in the world food section or a Spanish or Italian deli). It’s a complete meal with the potatoes, just add a crisp green salad and that’s lunch or dinner sorted… if you are extra hungry you could add some roasted sourdough with olive oil and a scraping of fresh garlic. It’s even delicious served at room temperature. if you haven’t got time to soak the salt cod, you can use fresh cod cut into chunks and put it in the stew to poach for the last ten minutes of cooking or till cooked through.
- 400g of dried salted cod which is rehydrated in the fridge in water for 3 days, refreshing the water about two to three times a day. If it tastes pleasantly salty it’s ready, if not repeat for another day, or 500g of fresh cod.
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 finely diced celery stalks
- 2 large peeled potatoes
- Half a red pepper chopped
- 1 large red onion finely chopped
- 1 cup of fish stock (I always use Knorr stock pots, they are brilliant)
- 1 cup of white wine
- A handful of black olives (stoned)
- A small pinch of chilli flakes, or to taste
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of capers
- A small bunch of chopped parsley
- Pepper and salt to taste
Firstly prepare the potatoes by cutting them into small chunks and blanching them in boiling water for a few minutes. Drain them and set aside.
prepare the fish by draining it thoroughly, pat dry with a clean tea towel and then remove any of the skin. Cut into medium sized chunks, about the size of your thumb.
Put the olive oil into a large pan and on a medium heat fry the cod pieces till they cooked through.Take out and set aside.
Put the chopped pepper, celery and onion in the pan and sauté till soft, about six minutes. Add the fish stock, tomatoes, olives, white wine, chilli flakes and capers and bring to a simmer.
Add the potatoes and gently cook for another six minutes. Add the cod, some pepper and some of the parsley and cook on a low heat for a further twenty minutes. Check the seasoning. Serve straight away with a sprinkle of the remaining parsley.