Worth knowing that most of the time a dish states “a la Catalana¨, it will usually contain raisins and pinenuts, two ingredients the Catalans love so much. So if you see this wording on a menu (e.g.: Espinacas a la Catalana or Bacalao a la Catalana) or in the title of a recipe, you can’t be mistaken, just go for it, especially if you love these two matching ingredients as much as we do. In this article we will present you the recipe of the Catalan style cod – Bacalao a la Catalana in Spanish or Bacallà a la Catalana in Catalan language, but worth mentioning that this dish you can also find under a second name in the restaurants: Bacalao con pasas y piñones – meaning cod with raisins and pinenuts. Whichever way you call it, this dish sums up everything to me that is so good about the Mediterranean diet in a very easy way. It’s delicious, using a lot of fresh ingredients, simple to make, it fits to any healthy diet, and designed to be flexible depending on what you have at home.
Ingredients – for 2 persons
- 4-5 fillets of fresh or frozen cod
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion
- 4-5 pieces of garlic, the more is tastier 😋
- 5 tomatoes or 1 cup good quality tomato puree
- 1-2 red bell peppers
- 50 g of raisins, but feel free to add more as per your taste
- 50 g of pinenuts, the above comment applies here too 😉
- Salt and pepper as per your taste
How to make it
1. Heat a big sauce- or paella-pan with high heat and add 4-5 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is hot enough, add the chopped onions and wait until they are fried a bit and changed their colors to transparent.
2. Then turn off the fire a bit, and add the chopped red bell peppers and after 3 minutes of frying, add the smashed garlic, the tomatoes or the puree, the seasoning, and then cook until it becomes saucy – it requires approx. 10 minutes.
3. Heat in a parallel a small non-stick pan with medium heat, and once the pan gets hot, add the pinenuts and dry roast for about 3 minutes, moving the pinenuts frequently, and set aside.
4. Add your cod fillets to the sauce – note: they should be just placed on the top of your sauce with their skin on the bottom, and you don’t need to turn them during the cooking process, not even once!
5. Now you can add your raisins and roasted pinenuts as well on the top.
6. The cod fillets should be cooked for at least 20 minutes and let them soak in as much of your sauce as just possible.
The time of the preparation depends on the cod if you are using fresh or frozen fish. But even if your cod is frozen, you just need to take it out of the freezer and let it melt for 1-2 hours. You can also use the melting program of your microwave and then you have it in 10-15 minutes. During this period you will have sufficient time to chop all your vegetables. After your cod is ready to be used, and you have all your vegetables prepared, the whole cooking process doesn’t take more time than 35 minutes. So it is all about smart planning, and quick preparation. This dish could be done in a very short time and served on any occasion, celebration, even for Christmas to impress your guests. And for sure you will, with this recipe. Enjoy! 😋