Baccala Mantecato and Peperonata Bruschetta for Christmas Eve

Erica De Mane

Recipe: Baccalà Mantecato and Peperonata Bruschetta

In the last week or so several people have asked me about baccalà mantecato, knowing that I always make it for Christmas Eve. This salt cod preparation is not my usual Southern Italian fare. It comes from Venice, and it’s essentially the same as Provençale brandade. I’ve had versions of it in Liguria, too. It’s fluffy (mantecare means to whip) and mellow. People who say they don’t like baccalà almost always like this. It’s traditionally been the opener to my big Christmas Eve fish dinner. It’s a perfect fit with couscous-stuffed shrimp, spaghetti with clam sauce, zuppa di pesce, orange and fennel salad, or whatever I decide on for any given year.

Christmas Eve has always been my favorite holiday meal. Its food incorporates many of my favorite flavors, such as baccalà, and is pure joy for me to prepare. Lots of fish…

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Michelle Glynn

Traded globe-trotting for motherhood. Side hustling as a freelance writer since 2001.

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