In Southern Italy, it is a tradition to have fish for Christmas Eve dinner. Not consuming meat (eating lean) before a religious holiday, such as Christmas, is one of the rules derived from our Catholic heritage. Along the coastal cities of Italy, from Genoa to Naples to Bari, there’s a fish that takes the lead: baccalà, which is Norwegian salted cod. It became popular starting from the 16th century, with the flourishing of trade between Italy (first Venice, then Naples) and Norway. If you can’t find baccalà, you can replace it with cod loin, as I did in this recipe.
Ingredients for 2:
400 g desalted cod fillet (or cod loin)
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
7-8 cherry tomatoes
1/2 glass of Negramaro wine (or Primitivo or structured red wine)
10 black olives
Extra virgin olive oil
Time: 20 minutes
Cut the cod into large pieces.
In a pan, sauté the sliced onion with garlic cloves and a drizzle of olive oil. Then add the cherry tomatoes, olives, and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the fish and quickly sear it on both sides, then pour in the wine and complete the cooking until all the alcohol has evaporated.
Adjust the salt and pepper and serve immediately, sprinkled with chopped parsley.
TIP: you can use the fish and red wine sauce for the spaghetti, so you will have a delicious primo (pasta) and secondo (fish) together!
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