Baccalà and Potato (con patate) Stew alla Siracusana

(for 4-6 servings)

1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
Hot red pepper flakes
2 large potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound baccalà (salt cod), soaked for at least 36 hours
4 fresh plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or canned tomatoes, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons salt-preserved capers, soaked in water for a few minutes and drained (optional)
8 to 10 black or green olives, pitted or unpitted
Leaves from several flat-leaf parsley sprigs, chopped


1. In a large deep skillet, combine the onion and olive oil. Cook over medium heat until the onion is tender but not browned. Stir in the celery and add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two.

2. Add the potatoes, then add water to the halfway point (about 1/2 cup). Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the cod into large chunks. Add it to the saucepan along with the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Cook with the cover ajar until the cod is heated through, about 10 minutes.

3. Taste the sauce and add more pepper flakes if needed. Add the parsley. Serve the stew in shallow soup bowls.


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