← Back to Search Results
sauteeing Italian
Salt Cod in the Style of Marechiara Recipe-2708

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0


Baccala Marechiara

I prefer olives with the pits—I think they have better flavor. Adding the olives directly to the oil after the garlic has browned will give you a more pronounced flavor of olives. If you like a milder flavor, add them to the sauce once the tomatoes have come to a boil.

Baccalà has a tendency to curl up as it cooks. If yours does that, press on the fillets lightly with a metal spatula so they caramelize evenly. In order to keep the sauce light—as its name says—spoon in a little hot water from time to time as the sauce simmers.

Yield: 4 servings


  • Four 8-ounce salt cod fillets, or 1 whole side bone-in salt cod (about 3½ pounds)
  • One 14-ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional oil for the finished dish if you like
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 large green olives, such as Cerignola, cut away from the pit in wide strips
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt


With your hands, remove the seeds from the tomatoes by squeezing them over a sieve, squeezing just enough to get the seeds out, then crush the tomatoes that you have in your hands coarsely and return them to the seedless liquid. Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Whack the garlic with the flat side of a knife, scatter the cloves over the oil, and cook, shaking the pan, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the olives and cook until any liquid has evaporated and the olives begin to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and oregano and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer and season lightly with pepper. Let simmer while you prepare the cod, spooning in a little hot water if the sauce begins to thicken.

Pat the salt-cod fillets dry with paper towels. Heat the remaining ¼ cup oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat. Add the fillets and cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides and opaque at the thickest point, about 10 minutes. Drain excess oil from the skillet and carefully pour in the tomato sauce. Bring to a quick boil, lower the heat so the sauce is simmering, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the fish with the sauce as it cooks. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, if necessary. Divide the sauce among four heated plates and top each pool of sauce with the fillets. Drizzle each fillet with additional olive oil, if you like.


To soak baccala, put the side(s) or fillets in a container large enough to hold them comfortably. Place the container in a deep sink and fill it with cold water. Position the container under the faucet  and allow the faucet to drip very slowly, continuously replenishing the salty water with fresh. Make sure the path to the drain is clear so the sink doesn't overflow. (If the baccala container is too large to fit in the sink, you may soak it in a cool place, completely changing the water every few hours.) The cod will take at least 1 day of sialing or up to 2 days, depending on the thickness of the baccala and how heavily it has been salted.

© 2001 A La Carte Communications and Tutti a Tavola, LLC

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information does not reflect the soaking and draining of the salt cod, which dramatically reduces the sodium content of the recipe. Nutritional information includes 1/2 teaspoon of added salt.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

924kcal (46%)
16372mg (682%)
33g (51%)
5g (25%)
345mg (115%)
104mcg RAE (3%)
18mg (30%)
402mg (40%)
7mg (38%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
Free Activity Kit for Love Monster and the Last Chocolate!

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

complete-book-of-indian-cooking-350-recipes-from-the-regions-of-india Complete Book of Indian Coo...
by Suneeta Vaswani
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
the-splendid-tables-how-to-eat-weekends The Splendid Table's How to...
by Sally Swift, Lynne Rosetto Kasper
amor-y-tacos Amor Y Tacos
by Deborah Schneider
the-lee-bros-southern-cookbook-stories-and-recipes-for-southerners-and-would-be-southerners The Lee Bros. Southern Cook...
by Ted Lee, Matt Lee
big-fat-cookies Big Fat Cookies
by Elinor Klivans
the-bread-bible The Bread Bible
by Rose Levy Beranbaum
spice Spice
by Ana Sortun
cook-with-jamie Cook with Jamie
by Jamie Oliver
in-the-kitchen-with-david In the Kitchen with David
by David Venable
a-bakers-odyssey A Baker's Odyssey
by Andrew Schloss
the-gourmet-cookbook The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
hudson-valley-mediterranean-the-gigi-good-food-cookbook Hudson Valley Mediterranean...
by Laura Pensiero
west-coast-cooking West Coast Cooking
by Greg Atkinson

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?