Tasting the World

Venetian Salted Cod Pâté (Baccalà Mantecato)

Recipe by Stanley Tucci, CNN. Photographs by Will Lanzoni, CNNUpdated 2nd May 2022
Spread the pâté over bread or grilled polenta.
Editor's Note — This recipe is featured in the CNN story "Three popular recipes from Stanley Tucci's cookbook." Don't miss a new season of "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy" airing Sundays at 9 p.m.
(CNN) — This appetizer, from the "The Tucci Cookbook," is best served warm on toasted bread that has been rubbed with garlic or on a slice of grilled polenta. Stanley Tucci recommends pairing this spread with a sparkling, full white wine or a light red.
Makes 6 to 8 servings


1 pound salted cod
2 cups milk or heavy cream plus more as needed
3 cloves garlic
1 Idaho potato (about 10 ounces), peeled, cut in half and sliced
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper


Plan ahead: Salted cod, or baccalà, needs to soak for 24 hours to remove the salt.
Plan ahead: Salted cod, or baccalà, needs to soak for 24 hours to remove the salt.
Will Lanzoni/CNN
1. Soak the cod in a large saucepan filled with cold water for 24 hours, changing the water three times during this period.
2. Drain the cod and return it to the saucepan. Add the milk, which should cover the fish (add additional milk if necessary), 2 garlic cloves and the potato. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the potato is tender when pierced with a knife, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Drain the fish, reserving ¼ cup of the soaking liquid, the potato and the garlic. Remove and discard all the bones from the cod.
4. Puree the cod in a food processor along with the reserved liquid, potato, garlic and remaining 1 garlic clove. With the food processor running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Stir in parsley and cheese, season with pepper, and serve immediately.