pasta con baccalà in rosso

This delicious traditional Italian pasta recipe is made with salt cod in a tomato sauce: the salt cod needs a couple of days prep in advance but it’s really easy and really worth it. It’s the most delicious combination of textures and the salt cod has a divine flavour. Salt cod is an excellent store cupboard ingredient too. 


Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 200g of salt cod/fish (prepared, see below)
  • 300g tin of chopped tomatoes 
  • 1 tbs of aged balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tsp of maple syrup 
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 4  tbsp of olive oil
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and finely slice.
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 200g of any long pasta (I made mine with linguine)

How:

To prepare the salt cod it needs to be soaked for 2 days, changing the water three times a day. I store it in the fridge. Drain it thoroughly. The skin, if it has any, can then be removed and any bones too. Cut into chunks.

In a frying pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil till soft, put in the tomatoes, the lemon zest, a little pinch of the chilli, the maple syrup, the balsamic and the cod and gently simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. If it starts to dry out add a splash of water.

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet and mix with the sauce in the pan. Squeeze a bit of lemon over the top and sprinkle with the parsley. Check the seasoning, I add a good grinding of pepper as it might not need salt, or very little. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

baccalà alla Napoletana

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.

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 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

How:

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. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

spaghetti con la bottarga

I have been meaning to put this Sicilian recipe on the blog for a long time as I adore it and love bottarga. Bottarga is a dried, salted fish roe which is a condiment that adds the unique flavour of the sea to the pasta. You can buy it in most Italian delis or online and a little goes a long way, as you only use a small amount. The breadcrumbs add a bit of texture and you can add some lemon zest too like I do. It’s perfect for dinner for two with a salad.

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baccalà mantecato

I had this Venetian tapas served with drinks in Venice. It is unbelievably delicious and perfect as canapés and as an hors d’œuvre or just for lunch. It’s also been served on polenta in Harry’s Bar for decades. The salt cod is whipped to a smooth consistency with olive oil and slavered on crostini or polenta. You can now get salt cod in the international section in most supermarkets or in Caribbean, Spanish and Italian delis.

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pasta con le sarde

A traditional Sicilian recipe for pasta with the amazing flavours of fennel, anchovies, saffron, wine, pine nuts and lemon with crunchy bread crumbs on top. I searched high and low for fresh sardines but my fishmonger said they were out of season, so I used good quality tinned ones in olive oil and they are absolutely fine. I make mine with spaghetti Nero but any long pasta works.

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caldeirada

This Portuguese smokey seafood stew is cooked all in one pot, so after you have prepped the ingredients, it’s only a matter of adding them in stages to the pot. It’s got potatoes and a delicious tomato and wine broth with saffron. I use defrosted frozen seafood for my recipe, except the mussels, which can be left out, but fresh seafood is great, obv,  and you can add any mixture of seafood you fancy. Traditionally it’s served with roasted garlic bread, or rice.

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Busaba thai calamari

This recipe is more of a review, I found it on Epicurious and it’s recipe for the Busaba Eat Thai squid which is one of their best dishes and everyone loves it so I wanted to try and make it myself. It’s really delicious and what really makes it is the sauce. It’s brilliant with Thai sticky rice and some stir fried pak-choi. The pickled peppercorns are optional if you can’t be arsed, but I love them and made a big batch to use on other recipes, like my curries. 

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