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Dave Piccerelli's

Fresh Codfish with Tomatoes


This recipe is a variation of a dish served by many Italian-Americans on Christmas Eve as part of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. Traditionally it's prepared using baccalà (dried salt cod) that has been soaked in water or milk for several days. A substitute for the codfish may be made, but you would want to stick to a fish that is boneless and light in taste when cooked.



3 gloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 can imported Italian whole plum tomatoes - crushed

1/4 cup clam juice

Red pepper flakes to taste

1/4 cup white wine

Salt & pepper to taste

Fresh nutmeg to taste (optional)

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sweat the garlic in the olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, clam juice, red pepper flakes, wine, salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce comes to a simmer, stirring frequently to blend the flavors. Grate in some nutmeg to taste. Reduce heat to low/warm and cover.


2 lbs. fresh codfish filets

1 large sweet onion, sliced

Red pepper flakes to taste

Fresh rosemary — two six-inch sprigs

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heavy-duty aluminum foil — piece large enough to cover your grill


Light your charcoal or gas grill. When coals are ready or, for gas grills, when the temperature reaches 375 degrees, place the foil, shiny side down, on your grill. Pour the olive oil into the center of the foil and sauté the onion with the red pepper flakes until the onions are soft. Spoon a little of the tomato sauce on the onions and place the codfish filets in a single layer on top. Cover the cod with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the rosemary needles. Fold the sides of the foil to the center to create a covered pouch (try not to press against the fish). Check frequently for doneness. When the pouch is bubbling and the codfish becomes flaky, the dish is done. Remove to a serving platter and enjoy.


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