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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Iannelli-Rubin

Baccalà alla Napoletana (Neapolitan-Style Braised Salt Cod with Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers)

The best braised baccalà through the seasons.

Baacalà alla Napoletana is an Italian dish made with salt cod, otherwise known as baccala, olives, tomatoes, and capers. Dried and salted fish doesn’t sound like something to get too excited about. But if you ask an Italian about baccalà, or salted cod, you’ll see their eyes light up. Salt-dried cod has been used in Mediterranean recipes for thousands of years and is a fundamental ingredient in Italian cuisine. It is the protagonist of many regional recipes. It is easy to conserve and once was appreciated for its low cost, once being responsible for saving thousands from famine. It has become a Christmas Eve favorite for many traditional Italian families. The dish hails from Napoli is a great dish to serve during the Feast of the Seven Fishes. I had left-over baccalà to get through, so making this deliciousness came easy. So easy to serve and a treat for a family lunch or an elegant dinner party, I promise that bread will be used to mop up any leftover sauce on the plate! Salt-dried cod is delicious when prepared correctly. It’s slightly firm and mild in flavor, and it pairs well with acidic flavors, such as tomatoes, marinated artichokes, and capers.

Baccalà alla Napoletana (Neapolitan-Style Braised Salt Cod with Tomatoes, Olives, and Capers)


For the Salt Cod

  • prep and soak baccalà at least 3 days prior to cooking after rinsing

For the Sauce and the Finishing

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • pinch red pepper flakes

  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juices, tomatoes roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup pitted black olives

  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained

  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, rough chopped


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

  2. In a 12-inch skillet or sauté pan, combine olive oil and garlic, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic just begins to turn pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes.Add red pepper flakes and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, olives, capers, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened slightly, about 10 minutes.

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