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Arthur Schwartz's Casserole Of Salt Cod And Potatoes

Benevento is often the exception to the rule in Campania. It was ruled by the Germanic Lombards long after any other part of Southern Italy was. It was never part of the Kingdom of Naples or the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It was still a Papal State at the time of Italian unification in 1860. And, more to the culinary point, the Beneventani are more likely to combine garlic and onion in one dish when most Campanians would make a face of disgust at the mention of such a thing. Except for that touch, this could as easily be Neapolitan, or from Salerno.

Cuisine: Italian
Type: Fish
Courses: Main Course
Serves: 6 people

Recipe Ingredients

1   Medium-large onion - thinly sliced
1   Garlic clove - thinly sliced (large)
2 tablespoons 30mlExtra-virgin olive oil
1 lb 454g / 16ozMussillo of salt cod = (weighed after it has soaked for 36 hours, and cut into 1/2" thick slices)
3/4 lb 340g / 11ozAll-purpose potatoes - peeled, and cut into 1/4" thick slices
2   Canned peeled plum tomatoes - with their interior juices
12   Gaeta olives - pitted and halved
2 tablespoons 30mlSalted capers - thoroughly rinsed
1 teaspoon 5mlDried oregano
1/2 cup 118mlWater
1 tablespoon 15mlExtra-virgin olive oil

Recipe Instructions

In a deep 10-inch skillet, a saute pan, or a shallow stove-top casserole, which should have a cover and, optimally, should be presentable enough to take to the table, saute the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until the onion is golden, about 8 minutes. Remove and reserve about half the onion and garlic mixture.

Arrange a layer of salt cod over the onions remaining in the pan, then make a layer of sliced potato. Spread around the reserved onion mixture. Cut or crush the tomatoes directly into the pan and spread them around. Spread around the olives, the capers, and the oregano. Pour the water over all, then drizzle with the additional tablespoon of olive oil.

Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Keep the heat adjusted so the dish simmers briskly for about 30 minutes. In the end, the potatoes should be tender and a flavorful broth will have developed.

Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes, during which time the potatoes will become softer, absorbing some of the juices; the juices left in the pan, although reduced in volume, will become a rosy colored sauce.

For maximum visual effect, bring the pan to the table undisturbed and serve, hot or warm, directly from the pan. (The longer the dish sits and cools, the fewer, but more viscous the juices, which is actually the way some people prefer it.)

"Ciao Italia at"


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