monica in venice

monica in venice

Baccalà Mantecato

In all Venetian recipes Baccalà stands for dried cod not salted cod - it usually comes from Lofoten in Norway.


Ingredients for 4 people

About 300 gr of dried cod (best if you can buy Ragno quality)

2 cloves of garlic

1 bay-leaf 



a lot of olive oil

1 table spoon chopped parsley


Cut the cod into pieces and place them into a pan full of water. Leave it under running cold water for 2 days or change the water regularly.

After 2 days substitute the water with some lightly salted water, a bay leaf and cook until the cod swells up and turn nice and white. Make sure to remove the foam which will form when the water starts boiling. Once cooked, remove the pieces of cod from the pan, remove the skin and the bones from the cod and place in a food processor with the whisk gadget on. Add 2 whole gloves of garlic.

Start to mix with energy slowly adding the olive oil (just like if you were making mayonnaise). The quantity of the oil will depend on the capacity of absorbing of the cod. Carry on mixing till the cod will turn into a nice mousse like sort of cream. It should take at least 30-45 minutes, the more you beat it, the lighter the mousse. Taste and add salt if required. Add some pepper and use on fresh cut bread slices or grilled slices of white polenta. Garnish with some parsley.

The difficulty of this dish is the mixing that can take up to an hour

Monica Cesarato is a food blogger and culinary guide from Venice, organizing Cicchetti Food Tours and cooking lessons as Cook In Venice. Her articles have been published in La Gazzetta Italiana as well as many travel and food blogs and she recently appeared in the Venice episode of Alex Polizzi’s Secret Italy. Monica is currently writing a book about Cicchetti with the historic cook of Osteria La Vedova, one of the oldest bàcaros in Venice. You can connect with Monica on FacebookTwitter or visit her blog.