Salted and Dried Fish

Serves: 5



Before refrigeration was commonplace, most Italians
found it difficult to obtain fresh fish. Because Italy
is a Catholic country where the devout were required
to eat meatless meals on Fridays and holy days,
people came to rely on salted and dried fish. Back
then, these preserved fish were inexpensive and
widely available. Many recipes evolved to make
use of this early convenience food, and today it is
part of the culinary tradition of every region of
Italy. Baccala and stoccofisso (also called pesce
stocco) are no longer inexpensive but are still often
used in Italian cooking. Baccala is salted cod,
perch, or a similar whitefish that is typically cut
into pieces and salted, and stoccofisso, or stockfish,
is left in large fillets that are air-dried until
they are hard as wood. Their name comes from
the Scandinavian word for stockfish. Markets in
Italy sell both types of the fish soaked and ready
to cook, so their names are often used interchangeably,
and in fact either type of preserved fish can
be used in recipes that call for salt and dried fish.
The biggest difference between them is the length
of time required to reconstitute them. Baccala is
usually soft and sufficiently desalinated to use
after 24 to 48 hours of soaking, while stoccofisso
requires as much as a week to become hydrated.
Another difference is that baccala is mild in taste
and smell, while stockfish is strong smelling.
Note that fresh fish can be substituted for
baccala or stoccofisso in any of the recipes that
call for salted and dried fish. Both types of preserved
fish are widely available in fish markets
and ethnic groceries.

This Salted and Dried Fish recipe is from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

More Recipes from the Cook'n in Italy Cookbook:
* Fish and Shellfish
Baked Fish with Olives and Potatoes
Baked Sardines with Rosemary
Baked Stuffed Clams
Baked Stuffed Lobster
Batter-Fried Shrimp and Calamari
Bluefish with Lemon and Mint
Broiled Cod
Brother Devil Lobster
Calamari Stuffed with Olives and Capers
Calamari with Artichokes and White Wine
Citrus Red Snapper
Clams and Mussels Posillipo
Conch Salad
Conch in Hot Sauce
Crusty Broiled Tuna Steaks
Fillets with Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar
Fish Steaks in Green Sauce
Fish in "Crazy Water"
Fish in a Salt Crust
Fried Calamari
Fried Salt Cod
Fried Shrimp
Grilled Sardines
Grilled Scallops and Shrimp
Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Grilled Stuffed Calamari
Grilled Tuna and Peppers, Molise Style
Grilled Tuna with Lemon and Oregano
Halibut Baked in Paper
Marinated Tuna, Sicilian Style
Mauro’s Grilled Octopus with Fennel and Orange
Mixed Fish Fry
Molise-Style Fish Stew
Mussels with Black Pepper
Mussels with Garlic and White Wine
Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Garlicky Greens
Roasted Fish in White Wine and Lemon
Roasted Turbot with Vegetables
Salmon Carpaccio
Salmon Steaks with Juniper Berries and Red Onions
Salmon with Spring Vegetables
Salt Cod with Potatoes
Salt Cod, Pizza Style
Salted and Dried Fish
Sardines, Venetian Style
Sardinian Mussels with Saffron
Scallops with Garlic and Parsley
Scrod with Spicy Tomato Sauce
Sea Bass with Mushrooms
Sea Bass with Olive Crumbs
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Shrimp in Anchovy Sauce
Shrimp in Garlic Sauce
Shrimp with Tomatoes, Capers, and Lemon
Sicilian Swordfish with Onions
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Sole Rolls with Basil and Almonds
Stuffed Calamari, Roman Style
Stuffed Sardines, Sicilian Style
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Swordfish Rolls
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Turbot Fillets with Olive Paste and Tomatoes
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