Venetian Voyage: Baccalà alla Vicentina Splendor

Baccalà alla Vicentina is a sumptuous journey into the heart of Venetian culinary traditions. Made with salted cod that's been softened and then slowly simmered in a rich milk-based sauce with onions and anchovies, this dish is a delightful blend of flavors and textures. The result is a creamy, savory masterpiece that's both comforting and sophisticated, paying homage to the artistry of Italian cuisine.

Photo of a plate showcasing Baccalà alla Vicentina in a rustic Venetian setting. The tender cod is drenched in a creamy milk-based sauce, garnished with freshly chopped parsley and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. A side of golden polenta complements the dish, with a backdrop of vintage Italian kitchenware.

Precise Preparation and Cooking Time

  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes (plus soaking time for the cod)
  • Cooking Time: 2 hours

Number of Servings and Ideal Serving Size

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Ideal Serving Size: 200g per person

Essential Nutritional Information

  • Calorie count: 360 kcal per serving
  • Carbohydrates: 12g
  • Proteins: 35g
  • Fats: 18g
  • Dietary Fiber: 1g
  • Sodium: 1200mg (due to the salted cod)

Ingredients, Measured in Grams

  • Salted cod (previously soaked and desalted): 800g
  • Whole milk: 500ml
  • Onion: 150g
  • Anchovy fillets: 50g
  • Olive oil: 40ml
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: 50g
  • Parsley: 10g
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour for dredging: 30g

Photo of the cooking process of Baccalà alla Vicentina. A skillet on the stove contains the simmering cod in its rich sauce. Ingredients like sliced onion, anchovy fillets, and milk bottles are spread out on a marble countertop, illuminating the steps of the recipe.

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Begin by finely slicing the onion.
  2. In a large skillet or casserole dish, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent and soft.
  3. While the onions are cooking, dredge the desalted cod fillets in flour, shaking off any excess.
  4. Add the floured cod to the skillet, letting it brown slightly on both sides.
  5. Once the cod is browned, add the anchovy fillets, allowing them to melt into the mixture.
  6. Pour in the milk, ensuring the cod is submerged. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
  7. Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it cook slowly for about 2 hours. Occasionally, gently stir to prevent sticking, ensuring the cod remains intact.
  8. Season with salt and pepper as required (be cautious with the salt due to the salted cod).
  9. Once cooked, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

Proven Tips for Culinary Success

  • The key to this dish is the desalting process of the cod. Ensure you soak the salted cod in cold water for 24-48 hours, changing the water multiple times to remove the salt.
  • A slow and steady cooking process ensures the cod becomes tender and absorbs the flavors.
  • Serve with polenta or crusty bread to soak up the rich sauce.

Anticipated FAQs

  • Can I use fresh cod instead of salted cod? Traditionally, salted cod is used for its unique texture and flavor. Fresh cod can be used but will result in a different taste and consistency.
  • What if I can't find anchovy fillets? Anchovy paste can be a good substitute. Use about a tablespoon for this recipe.