- 1/2 pound white beans, soaked overnight
- 1 pound salt cod, also soaked overnight, changing the water 3 times
- 4 ounces salt pork, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 pound tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded and sieved or 2 cups tomato puree plus 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 cup white wine
- salt and pepper
- 2 ounces dried breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil the beans until tender; save the water.
Drain and debone the cod, cut into 1-inch pieces.
Fry salt pork, onions and carrot in olive oil until they begin to brown. Reduce heat and add garlic. Continue sauteing while adding tomatoes, sugar, bay leaf, thyme, saffron and half the parsley. Cook 3 to 4 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add 1 pint of bean water, wine, beans and pepper, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 40 minutes.
Crush some of the beans to thicken the sauce. Add the salt cod and simmer for 10 minutes. Check the spices, being careful about adding salt.
Transfer to a casserole; spread bread crumbs, mixed with remaining parsley, over the surface. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Dave suggests serving with a big salad and bread. He added 1/4 pound of linguicia which he says “didn’t hurt.”
The Wine List Recommendation: Although this is a lighter, codbased rendition of cassoulet, the dish is still rustic enough to call for a red wine. We recommend a light- to medium-bodied Burgundy with balanced fruit components that will stand up to the salt. Try: Shaps and Roucher-Sarrazin Pinot Noir (Burgundy, France) $20.00.
Recipe by Dave Masch