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Stewed Cod

Merluzzo Stufato

SERVES 4

It required patience to prepare dried salt cod (baccala ), stiff as a board, for la vigilia. A few days before Christmas Eve, we would place it in the sink and turn the faucet on to a lazy drip to allow the fish to rehydrate slowly before stewing it. Now I save time by using fresh cod instead of dried.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 ribs celery, diced

2 cups coarsely chopped plum tomatoes

1 tablespoon capers in brine, drained and minced

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 pounds fresh cod, cut into chunks

Fine sea salt to taste

Directions

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, capers, bay leaf, and parsley and simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the cod, cover, and cook over low heat for about 8 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Add salt to taste and serve.

Variation: The fish can also be served as a sauce over spaghetti.

This recipe is from CELEBRATIONS ITALIAN STYLE by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1995.

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