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Baccalà (dried salt cod) Florentine style

Main courses
Dried salt cod ('baccalà') is one of the most commonly used fish dishes in Florentine cuisine. Before cooking, the hard salted cod fillets are softened by soaking, often under running water. Grocers in Florence sell it already softened and ready for cooking, normally on Thursdays (the day before Friday when traditionally no meat is eaten). In traditional Florence cuisine 'baccalà', tasty and inexpensive, is a typical Friday dish. It can be cooked in many ways: boiled, 'in zimino' (a kind of stew with Swiss chard) or fried, but the most typical and commonplace is with tomatoes – Florentine style.


  • 1.2 kg dried salt cod softened in water
  • 400 gr. tomato sauce
  • 3 or 4 clove garlic
  • a bunch of parsley
  • extra-virgin olive oil


  • Cut the baccalà into pieces and sprinkle with flour. Sauté the garlic with the oil in a frying pan.
  • Place the baccalà in the flavoured oil, and when it is golden brown on both sides add the tomato and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the garlic, season to taste and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.

Another version of the same recipe has the baccalà fried in batter before being placed in the pan with the tomato sauce prepared separately. In this case the cooking time with the tomato is shortened to 5/10 minutes. The result is excellent although perhaps slightly richer.