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Dried cod, livornese style

(Baccala’ alla livornese)

  • A)
  • 800 grams of dried cod fillets, already wet and desalinated, cut in pieces
  • white flour
  • seeds oil
  • B)
  • A chopped mixture composed by:
    6 garlic cloves and a small bunch of parsley
    17% kg of tomato purée
    6 spoons of olive oil
Dip in flour the dried cod and fry it until it will be quite crunchy. Drain it and put it over a blotting paper in order to dry the excessive oil. Then take a baking tin, put the oil indicated at point B) and fry lightly over a brisky heat the chopped garlic and parsley until the garlic will start to turn fair. Add the tomato purée, turn and mix with care; cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, then add the pieces of dried cod laying them with care and covering them with the sauce. Cook for 4-5 minutes, then switch off the fire and keep warm 10 minutes before serving, so that the dried cod could flavour. This preparation can be served with boiled chickpeas (it is simply excellent), if you cannot find them already cooked, you can cook them by this way: 400 grams of chickpeas put in lukewarm water with a pinch of kitchen salt and one spoon of flour for one night. At the right time rinse them very well, put over the heat in abundant water without salt and cook for 20 minutes or until they will result quite tender, “al dente”. Season them with oil and grinded black pepper.
Livorno is an authentic entanglement of Mediterranean cultures and people, and it is the Tuscany town less Tuscany within the other Tuscany town, even if it is authentically Tuscany. The most varied cultural, civil and religious traditions have been blended together and they have created a very difficult character, also difficult to define (even if it is perfectly linked with the Tuscany personalities), you can imagine to understand. Also in the cooking; the cooking of Livorno is very original: solar, spicy, cheeky (like its “Vernacoliere”, but dazzling/charming with its delicacies “spaccabocche leccafiche”) and full of tastes, smells, colours very marked, determinated: the sauce, the torpedo fish, the “cacciucco” and so on. According to the variety of situations it is clear now that some “expressions” could result extraneous. These expressions can be understood only if we approach the people and especially their souls, because every genuine expression come from the people.

A Giuseppe Alessi recipe
Translated by Gianna Toni

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