Skill level

Average: 3.4 (15 votes)


  • 500 g wet-salted baccala (see Note), soaked overnight
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup basil, chopped
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra, to serve
  • 75 g (½ cup) pitted black olives, finely chopped
  • ½ red capsicum, finely chopped
  • 750 ml jar passata
  • cooked polenta, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Start this recipe a day ahead to soak the cod. Change the water every 2 hours if possible.

Soaking time overnight

Drain baccala, cut into 8 cm pieces and pat dry with paper towel. Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook  for 4 minutes or until browned. Add garlic, basil, parsley, olives and capsicum, and cook for 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add passata and bring to the boil.

Add baccala and cook for 30 minutes or until tender and sauce is thickened. Scatter with extra parsley leaves and serve with cooked polenta.


• Wet-salted baccala (cod) is available from selected delis. It is also used extensively in Portuguese cooking and may be labelled as bacalhau.


Photography by Alan Benson.