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X Italian Fish and Sea Food Dishes
Baccala ricamata molisana
Baccala Rachenate/Ricamato/Arracanato Molisana (Baked salt dried cod, topped with breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley)
Originated from: Guardialfiera, Molise, Italy
Occasion: Christmas Eve
Contributed by: Mrs. Adelaide Palazzo

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Dried salt cod

Home-made (or plain) breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese
Garlic, finely chopped
Parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil
Salt, pepper


Place salt cod in water for the required amount of time depending on its size etc. until it is ready for use (between 12 hours to 24 hours).

Add oil to the baking pan. Arrange salt cod on it and then add a layer of home-made breadcrumbs.

Add a thin layer of Parmesan cheese over the breadcrumbs. Season with garlic, parsley, salt and pepper.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until the cod is cooked (about 40 minutes).


In the 1930s this dish was known in Molise as "embroidered cod" possibly because it was pretty to look like, and had the appearance of an embroidered hankie. The dish was known in the countryside as "Baccala Rachentate" (sometimes spelled "Baccala Racanto" or "Baccala Ricamato") but nowadays some cookbook writers call it, "Baccala Arracanato." In the 1930s the dish was only made for Christmas Eve, and at no other time. This has changed over the years. Photo and comments: Mary Melfi.

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