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Baccalà Mantecato (Venetian creamed cod) 

This Baccalà Mantecato is a Venetian recipe that is perfect for the holidays when this fish is the most accessible. Be sure to check out my Youtube video with this Baccalà recipe for more details.
Total Time 5 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian


Baccalà Mantecato (Venetian creamed cod) 

  • 2 lbs baccalà This should be soaked for 2-3 days before you begin.
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley + more for garnish
  • 2 lemons You will need 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1 lemon sliced
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • cool water to cover the baccalà while cooking
  • 1 tbsp cool water per 1 cup of creamed baccalà


  • Soak the baccalà in water for 2-3 days. You should rinse and drain the water the baccalà is soaking in twice a day.(About every 8-12 hours) Once that is done, fill container you are soaking the baccalà in with fresh water to continue repeating the process
  • Slice three garlic cloves and one lemon
  • Add baccalà, sliced garlic, sliced lemons (squeeze into the pan before adding), bay leaves, pepper to a sauté pan.
  • Cover everything with water in the pan
  • Turn the heat on the stove up until liquid comes to a light boil
  • Once you see some bubble in the pan bring the heat down
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes but watch the fish to make sure you don't over cook it. The thinner the fish, the quicker it cooks. It can take less than 10 minutes if your fish is very thin.
  • Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid
  • Drain the fish of the remaining liquid
  • Place the baccalà in a bowl to cool
  • Once cooled break the fish up into smaller pieces (My perfered method is using kitchen scissors)
  • Add about 2 tbsps of the cooking liquid into the bowl
  • Use immersion blender to slowly begin creaming the fish (See notes for immersion blender alternatives)
  • Slowly stream about a quarter of the olive oil in
  • Add 1 tbsp of cool water
  • Continue mixing and adding olive oil and water slowly until you achieve an mayonasyse consistentcy
  • Juice 1 lemon to get 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Chop your parsley (reserve some for garnish)
  • Mix in lemon juice, fresh pepper, parsely
  • Salt to taste (it might not even need salt depending on how salty your fish was)
  • Garnish with a thinly sliced lemon wedge and parsley
  • Serve on crusty bread and try not to eat it all in one sitting (Trust me, it's hard!)


*Before you begin this recipe make sure you taste your prepped baccalà so that you can assess how salty the fish is. 
*If you do not have an immersion blender then you can use a wooden spoon (just like Venetians traditional used to do!) or if you don't have ten hours then you can try using a food processer. However, I have not tested the food processer method. If you use a food processor, let me know how it goes!