This recipe invokes childhood memories of my nonna’s kitchen. I have been serving and eating this with family and friends as part of our Christmas Eve celebration for as long as I can remember.
Recipe tip: Use your own house-made tomato sauce, made the day before with a glass of wine in your hand.
Serves 4 to 6
1½ pounds salt cod filets
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons white wine
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 heaping tablespoons golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes to soften, drained and squeezed dry
1½ cups pomodoro tomato (or your favorite sauce from your garden)
Breadcrumbs toasted in extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Mafalde pasta, cooked al dente
Rinse the salt cod well in cold running water, then place it in a large bowl with cold water to cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times.
Drain the salt cod and pat dry. Cut each filet lengthwise down the middle. Then cut crosswise at intervals of 2½ to 3 inches, removing any bones or skin.
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until golden.
Add the cod and cook, turning as needed, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total.
Add the crushed red pepper, raisins and tomato sauce to the pan, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the fish is tender, about 20 minutes. (The dish can be prepared up to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated, and then reheated gently the next day.)
Serve over pasta and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.