Here one of my favourite dish, all the year round cooked, but expecially is a tip for Christmas Eve dinner.

Baccalà mantecato* is a typical dish from Venice and it needs very few ingredients but the most important is…elbow grease! Come on guys, the big effort will be rewarded by the absolute pleasure of this dish!

* “MANTECARE” means in italian “to mix until create a creamy texture”.


500 g of desalted codfish

olive oil to taste (or canola oil) at leaste half a litre

1 clove of garlic (OPTIONAL)



First of all, two words about the oil. Olive oil or canola oil? Normally it is used canola oil because the taste is softer, but a healthy compromise is olive oil (not extra vergin one, it would be to strong as a taste).

And now here we go. Desalt codfish very well (if you buy the salted one) for at least 3 days in cold water changing it 3-4 times per day.

Wrap it very well in aluminium foil and put it a pan without adding anything else. Cook over a slow flame with a lid for 30 minutes.

Once ready let it cool down in the pan, then remove the skin. Don’t throw the cooking water away, could be useful just in case codfish needs some salt.

Pour codfish in a high sides container, crumble it with the hands and start adding flush olive oil, contemporary beating with a whisk. Be strong! Keep going until the compound is soft, it will take 20-30 minutes. Codfish will become very creamy in the end. Add the oil slowly because at a certain point codfish will stop to incorporate.

If you like garlic but don’t want it to cover the taste of the codfish, just cut it in half and rub onto the sides of your container before starting.

Serve baccalà mantecato onto toasted bread or onto typical white or yellow toasted corn mush.

And…Happy Christmas dinner!


Baccalà mantecato can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days, covered with a plastic foil.

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