This recipe is for the traditional Italian seafood called baccala, which is simply dried, salted cod. In this recipe, it is cooked in a tasty tomato sauce and served over soft polenta. It is a very hearty, filling dish that reminds one of simpler times. The only trick to this dish is to remove as much of the salt as possible from the cod before cooking. You do this by soaking in fresh water for two days prior to use, changing the water three times a day.
1 (28)oz can of Crushed Tomatoes ( I prefer Pomi Brand)
3 Cloves of garlic Minced
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Stalk of Celery Finely Chopped
1 Carrot, Chopped
3 Tbs. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper (Add Salt Only At The End If Needed!)
1 Bay Leaf
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
9 Cups of Cold Water
2 Tablespoons Salt
2 Cups Cornmeal
To make the sauce heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and add the onion and carrot. Cook until tender, and then add the garlic. Cook only 1 minute and add the tomatoes and seasonings to the pot. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, begin to prepare the polenta. Bring the water to boil in a separate pot over medium heat. Add the salt and reduce the heat to medium low. Once the water is simmering, slowly start pouring in the cornmeal in a thin stream, stir constantly to prevent lumps. Once all the cornmeal has been added, keep the mixture at a slow simmer and cook stirring occasionally until soft, about 30-40 minutes. Place a large scoop in each serving bowl and let sit 5 minutes.
After the tomato sauce has cooked for 30 minutes. add the cod to the sauce and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Check for seasonings and serve over each bowl of polenta, garnished with fresh parsley.