Thursday, April 18, 2013

marinated baccala; black and white strichetti

I will admit here: I had this chunk of salt cod sitting in my refrigerator for more than a year. In fact, I had had it so long that more than one refrigerator was involved. When I started, I saw how much I needed for the three salt cod dishes in the book, and I just bought that much.

One of the dishes, the Baccala Mezzalune, got made pretty quick. But I didn't love that dish, so my urgency to finish the other two waned. The always seemed like dishes I could knock out whenever, then whenever started to slip to almost never.

Then the cod managed to slip to the back of the fridge. And you know how that goes. Then it got moved, which, frankly, is sort of insane.

Luckily, the salting is a preservation technique, so it could wait forever. Then one day, I was cleaning out the fridge, saw the white chuck of dried fish, and decided to check this one off the list. 

The Marinated Baccala was a breeze. After soaking the cod for a couple of days, it marinates in some oil.

It goes with some baby fennel, which reminds me that one of the reasons I held off making this dishes in the first place was that I wanted to grow the fennel myself. And as I recall, I tried. It never went well. So I bought fennel. Shrug. 

The next night I made the Black and White Strichetti, which involved making a sauce of the cod and tossing it in big bowtie pasta, half of which is colored with squid ink. 

It was funny looking at our dishes after Pam and I were done. She had picked through and mostly eaten the white pasta, I had picked through and mostly eaten the black pasta. Mainly, I wanted to see if I could discern a difference. Maybe a little. Maybe. Not really, though. It just looks neat.

Both dishes were much better than than my first attempt at working with it. And I am happy to report there is no longer any salt cod in my refrigerator.

Up next: black pepper tagliatelle

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