Salt cod spread (baccalà mantecato) traditional Italian recipe (VIDEO)

The salt cod spread is a traditional Venetian recipe, super-tasty and great to serve with polenta!

I have pampered it for 2 days, left it to soak in a cool place, changing the water at least 3 times a day, but now it’s time to cook it… how? I’ll make a salt cod spread, Venetian style! Let’s see how to do!

Ingredients for 4 servings:
Salt cod spread
(4 servings)
• 1 ¾ lbs (800 g) of stockfish, already soaked
• 1 bunch of chopped parsley • less than 1 cup (200 ml) of milk
• less than 1 cup (200 ml) of extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove of garlic
• salt and pepper to taste

This recipe requires a clarification: we are talking about cod fish of course, that is the main ingredient, but you can find stockfish, made from fresh cod which has been cleaned and air-dried, or salt cod, made from fresh cod that has been cleaned and preserved in salt: so they are 2 different preservation methods. Pre-soaked salt cod is available on the market, which means that it’s already soaked and ready to cook, whereas stockfish and salt cod need to be soaked, that is desalted and rehydrated. This recipe calls for stockfish, so you may wonder: why is it called “salt cod spread”? Because in the northeast of Italy the names of these 2 methods are interchanged, so stockfish is called salt cod and vice versa. But now, let’s go cook!

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Cut the stockfish into large pieces, place in a pot and cover with cold water… it should be covered completely… then add 2/3 cup (150 ml) of milk… and a pinch of salt, since stockfish is not salted, as said before. Now bring to a boil and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until tender; you may want to know that, once soaked, stockfish will double in weight.

The stockfish has softened, so drain and remove the skin and the bones; now we need to whip it, you can mix vigorously with a wooden spoon or use a stand mixer with paddle attachment. So add the stockfish… remember to skim off any foam that forms on the surface during cooking… turn on the mixer… and beat in the oil in a thin, steady stream… until you get a smooth mixture with a few chunks.

As you can see, it’s glossy and creamy. If it looks too dry, you can add a little more milk; now add a pinch of salt, pepper… to taste, of course… parsley and crushed garlic. And now whip again.

The salt cod spread Venetian style is ready to serve, perhaps on grilled polenta slices or with traditional polenta… see you next video recipe!

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