Loretta Sebastiani

Loretta Sebastiani
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Polenta topped with stewed salt cod
( Polenta e baccalà )

Our original home cooking

Polenta topped with stewed salt cod is a classical recipe of the Italian cuisine. I'm going to show you a light quick version. In fact, if you want, you can use a precooked polenta flour instead of cooking cornmeal for 40 minutes as it should be done. Typical recipe for the Mediterranean diet.

difficulty: easy

time: 1 hour

calories: 574 (kCal)

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 375 g (13 1/4 ounces) precooked cornmeal
  • 500g (1.1 pounds) cod, in salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g (1.1 pounds) puréed tomatoes
  • 1 leek , sliced
  • 2 young onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 100ml (3 1/3 fluid ounces) white wine
  • Salt
easy recipe
preparation: 30 minutes
plus soaking time
cooking: 30 minutes
total: 1 hour
How many calories in a serving?
Calories: 574 (kcal) 29 % - 2403 (kJ)
Protein: 38.5 (g) 77 % GDA
Total fat: 12.9 (g) 19 % GDA
Total carbohydrate: 76.8 (g) 29 % GDA
Sugars: 8.8 (g) 10 % GDA

Download free PDF version (242 download).

Recipe for polenta topped with stewd salt cod

Preparation and cooking

  • - Soak salt cod in cold water, at least 72 hours.
    Change water often and keep salt cod in the fridge.
  • - In a saucepan put olive oil, bay leaf, onion and leek.
    Fry slightly on very low heat, stirring frequently.
    Meanwhile remove salt cod from water, pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper and cut into pieces.
    Add them to your pan, increase heat and flavor on both sides, a couple of minutes.
    Pour in wine and let it evaporate partially.
    Now add puréed tomatoes and dried aromatic herbs.
    Season to taste with salt but be careful: this fish is already salt!
    Continue cooking, half-covered, until fish is tender and cooking liquid is well reduced.
    Add some tablespoons hot water, only if necessary.
  • - Meanwhile ...
    prepare polenta following the instructions on the package. When polenta is ready, spread it out on a large wooden board or serving plate.

Just before serving

  • - Serve polenta still hot, sliced and topped with salt cod, its sauce and chives.



  • - If you like garlic, add it to olive oil, leek and onion but remember to remove it before adding salt cod.
  • - Replace dried parsley and chives with fresh ones if you have them. In this case you have to clean, wash, pat dry with absorbent kitchen paper and cut them into the pan with stewed salt cod just before turning off the stove.
  • - You can buy already-soaked salt cod (800g - 1 3/4 pounds).
  • - Cooking times for salt cod are very subjective. It should not be cooked for a long time but it is always better to test and adapt cooking to personal tastes.
  • - Lately, I have been partially modified this recipe and do add wine nomore. After flavoring salt cod, I add  only tomato sauce. I find the flavor of the dish more intense.
  • - Look at the photo. Do you like this way to serve polent and salt cod? I cut polenta with a round cutter and garnish every portion with dried tomtoes in oil.
  • - Sometimes, I have some sauce left. The day after, I use it to season pasta (spaghetti or penne).

Menu planning

  • - Polenta and salt cod is a typical autumn and winter single-course meal even if there are a lot of people that eat it willingly in summer too but not hot!
  • - Plan it for your family menu according to my doses.

Healthy eating

  • - The calories of polenta and stewed salt cod say to you that, with these doses of corn flour, it can be only a single-course meal, low in fiber for the scarcity of vegetables (3.5 grams per serving - recommended daily intake is 30 grams). So I suggest to complete your meal with fresh seasonal fruit and plan another meal in the day rich in vegetables.
  • - If you want to reduce your calories to 459 and so to be able to eat a small dish of vegetables, you have to use only 240 grams of precooked polenta instead of the 375 grams, recommended before.


What's the right wine for " Polenta topped with stewed salt cod "?

My husband and I like to pair Bolgheri Rosato (wine from Tuscany) to this polenta dish.