Portuguese Cod Casserole

This is a dish  I grew up with, that is very popular in Brazil, where it is known as” Bacalhoada.” There are many variations of  this dish. It is originally made using salted cod, however  due to difficulty finding salted cod in Texas and Arizona, where I’ve lived in the United States, I had to change the recipe using fresh or frozen cod. Although salted cod is a key ingredient, this recipe with still gives you a good taste of this wonderful Portuguese dish and reminds me of Brazil. It is ” chic” but  easy to prepare.
cod
Ingredients:

8 cod fillets

4 medium yukon gold potatoes

4 roma tomatoes

2 zucchinis

1/2 red onion

1 large yellow bell pepper

1/2 CUP pitted and sliced black kalamata olives

1/2 lime, juiced

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

1 TSP dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre heat oven to 375F.
  2. Arrange cod fillets in a platter and squeeze lime juice over them and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
  3. Cut potatoes in thin slices and cook them in boiling water for 10 minutes, until tender. Drain water and arrange slices in a large glass or ceramic baking dish (I use a 9.5×13). Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. Cut zucchinis in thin slices and arrange half of them on top of  potatoes, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper.
  5. Cut tomatoes in thin slices and arrange half  of  them on top of zucchinis, drizzle olive  oil, salt and pepper and half of the drid basil.
  6. Arrange cod fillets on top drizzle olive oil , salt and pepper.
  7. Arrange the remaining zucchini and tomato slices on top. Again drizzle olive oil, the rest of dry basil, salt and pepper.
  8. Cut bell pepper and onion in thin slices and arrange them on top.
  9. Garnish with  olives and drizzle more olive oil salt an pepper.
  10. Cover with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove cover, and leave casserole in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Final steps

Serve on top of white steamed rice.
This a large dish perfect for  a dinner party since it serves 8 people. Reduce recipe to half  if making for less people. Bom Apetite!

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Pasta Trentino

Nothing says fall like the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season this time of year. A few weeks ago, Chuck and I took the kids to an apple orchard in Wilcox for a day of fun picking fresh fruit.

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After our adventure, we had plenty of apples on hand, which meant plenty of recipes to try.

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I decided to incorporate the fresh apples into a pasta dish I created, Pasta Trentino.

This is basically an apple-tomato ragu sauce. Its is so delicious and easy to prepare. Originally it was a recipe for  a tomato apple- soup, and it is so hearty that I thought, ‘Why not make this soup into a sauce?’ and serve over pasta. I named the finished product Pasta Trentino, after the Trentino region of Italy known for their wonderful apple orchards.

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Ingredients:

1 package Mezzi Rigatoni pasta

1 can (12 ounces) San Marzzano crushed tomatoes

1 TBSP tomato paste

3 TBSP olive oil

2 shallots, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

4 celery stalks, finely sliced

5 medium crispy apples, no skin and diced

2 TSP fennel seeds

2 TBSP dry basil

1/2 CUP shredded Romano cheese

1 bunch of fresh basil chopped

6 slices of prosciutto( optional)*

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to pkg directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan and saute celery, shallots, garlic and apples over medium heat until apples are soft and cooked. This should take about 15 minutes, and stir frequently to prevent garlic and shallots from burning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add tomato paste and crushed tomatoes, stir and add 3/4 cup water.
  4. Use a hand blender to smooth the sauce, add Romano cheese, fennel seeds and dried basil. Let it cook until bubbly. If you don’t have a hand blender, turn off  the heat and blend sauce in a regular blender, moving sauce back to pan once smoothed, turn heat back on add the dry spices and Romano cheese. Let it cook until bubbly.
  5. Turn heat  to low and add pasta, folding gently with the sauce. Leave low heat.
  6. Cook prosciutto slices in a pan until golden brown and crispy, drain all fat and crumble it.*

Final Steps

Arrange pasta in a large pasta bowl, garnish with fresh basil and prosciutto crumbles.

Serve with your favorite salad and a good wine. Buon Appetito!

* Prosciutto is Italian bacon it is not smoked, you may use regular bacon or even turkey bacon instead.