Dried salted Codfish, is known as, baccala. This past weekend a nearby village called Montelparo, is famous in our parts for their Baccala Festival. I have been going for the past 6 years. Sometimes up in the village, but most of the time with the same group of friends, to a very special Agriturismo called
Fonte di Sant’ Andrea.
Here we have a day of lunch, 5 hours of delicious baccala cooked to many different ways. I personally am not a lover of baccala but here the way they cook it is absolutely delicious. But this year I had my doubts when we arrived, because the entrance had been cave-in from the heavy snow this passed week. There was a shoveled out path to the door and when we entered we were greeted ever so warmly and taken to our table/area, we were 13 friends this year.
Here in Italy you eat in courses. So first were the appetizers, divine fried olives stuffed with baccala and some fried pieces as well. Then there was my favorite. A crostini topped with stewed purple cabbage, seasoned baccala and bacon. Then came something not so pretty but was very tasty. A mixture of baccala and steamed broccoli that was then baked and served in squares, like fudge brownies.Next a cold dish\salad, baccala, celery, potatoes and olives. Then came a dish i did not like because i am not a lover of radicchio (too bitter for me) but for those who are a lover of this vegetable. this was an eye-rolling experience for them. The radicchio was cooked with grapes and sliced pear, then topped with a mixture of baccala, onions and tomatoes. Next was the seasoned chickpeas with baccala and fennel, very yummy.
Polenta topped with baccala in tomato sauce and sweet onions. I would have had another plate of this but then i would not have had, anymore room in my tummy. Then tagliatelle with a tomato and baccala sauce topped with parsley, another thumbs up.
Was baked baccala with fennel and rosemary and a boiled baccala. There was a vote taken of which one was better the baked or boiled. It was a tie, with one person who loved both. In fact I could not get a photo of these, because everyone just dove into the plates and finished it all, hahaha.
Last but not least was dessert, tiramisu & an espresso, that I devoured. Only after, looking at my empty plate did I think to take a photo, oops.
Here is their information and this meal of Baccala ,they serve year round. But you have to let them know in advance. Everything here is prepared fresh and they do the shopping and preparation just for you. they also have 5 rooms and a pool for the summer months.
I hope you enjoyed!