Baccala Meraccheria Style was served on Christmas Eve.
Three days before preparing to cook:
Cut up pieces of salted dry baccala as large as you desire. Soak in cold fresh water and change water at least three times per day. Keep refrigerated.
2 lbs. dried salted baccala (after being soaked in water for three days and cut into pieces – pat dry very well to remove as much liquid as possible
Olive oil as needed
One large onion, diced.
1 clove garlic, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup Italian green or black olives (pitted)
28 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tsp rinsed capers
¼ cup white wine
Red pepper flakes to taste
Instructions: In large dutch oven, heat at least 3 tbsp of olive oil and add onion and garlic. Let simmer until soft and translucent.
Add fish pieces one at a time. Let the fish sauté on both sides and become white with color. After a minute or two, add cherry tomatoes, black pepper and salt to taste. Add wine – let simmer until the smell of the wine dissipates.
Add olives, capers and crushed tomatoes. Toss gently – cover with lid ajar. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place uncovered fish into the oven for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Take out of oven – sauce should look like it has a dark skin on top and become one.
Carefully ladle onto platter. Get the bread!