Baccala alla Calabrese, Aldo's Restaurant

Serves 4 to 6 2 pounds baccala (salt cod) 1/2 white onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, finely minced 2 vine-ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced 12 Calabrese (or kalamata) olives 2 bay leaves 4 or 5 fresh basil leaves, chopped 2 cups seafood (or light chicken) stock 2 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 -inch dice pinch crushed hot pepper salt and fresh pepper to taste (judiciously, as the baccala will impart some salt to the dish) To desalt and rehydrate the baccala, soak it in water for 24 or 48 hours, changing the water as often as practical. Then, cut the baccala in generous 1-inch squares. In a large pot, saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat until translucent, but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, olives, bay leaves and basil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the stock, baccala and potatoes. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves and serve immediately. - From Aldo's Restaurant, in a 2002 food section story about Italian Christmas Eve food traditions
Barbara Haddock Taylor
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