Baccalà alla Livornese

Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli
Italian Cuisine Expert and Food Blogger
Guido Pedrelli
Guido Pedrelli, the mastermind behind Nonna Box, has honed his culinary expertise for decades, inspired by family feasts in Emilia-Romagna. Mentored by his restaurateur nonna, he mastered Italian classics and furthered his skills with professional culinary studies in desserts and gelato making from Mec3. Today, he shares this rich legacy and authentic recipes through Nonna Box.
Expertise: Italian cuisine, Pasta, Pizza, Pastry, Dessert

What is Baccala alla Livornese? 

Baccalà alla Livornese is a classic recipe in Tuscan cuisine and has its origins in the port city of Livorno. “Baccala” means salted cod in Italian, and as you can probably guess, the main feature of this delicious dish is the salted cod.

There is a frequent confusion between stockfish and salted cod. Therefore, in order to better understand how this Tuscan dish was born, it is necessary to clarify the difference between the two.

What is the difference between Stockfish and Salted Cod?

The difference lies in the preservation method used to extend the storage life of the fish. The stockish is not salted but rather left to dry until it is sufficiently preserved. Salted cod, on the other hand, is a preservation method where the fish, typically cod, is kept in salted barrels for several weeks.

Due to the absence of modern technology such as refrigeration, salted cod was the primary method for preserving and transporting fish, especially cod. Thanks to the merchants of Northern Europe, salted cod was introduced to the port city of Livorno and consequently became quite popular in all of Tuscany.

The recipe for Baccala alla Livornese was soon created and became famous due to the convenience of the preservation method.  The cacciucco is another exquisite and famous fish dish from Livorno that was born from the convenience of salted cod.

Baccala alla livornese recipe

Baccala alla Livornese Recipe

Baccala alla Livornese is a traditional dish of the city of Livorno, Tuscany. Salted cod is the main ingredient, cooked in a tomato sauce. Delicious!
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Course: Fish
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 616kcal


  • 500 gr (1.1 lbs) salted cod
  • 600 gr (2.45 cups) tomato sauce
  • 1 (1) glass of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves (2 cloves) garlic
  • 1 sprig (1 sprig) Parsley
  • Salt as needed
  • Pepper as needed


  • First, wash the outside of the dried fish very well and then soak it for at least 36 hours. During this period, change the soaking water every 7 to 8 hours maximum.
  • After soaking, remove all the water, remove the skin from the cod, and clean it well by removing the bones. At this point, cut the fish to obtain medium-sized cod filets.
  • Wash the fish again, dry it well, and chop the parsley and garlic.
  • The time has come to cook the cod. Heat a large and preferably non-stick pan on high heat. Add the oil and once the oil is hot, add the cod.
  • Cook the cod filets until they are slightly golden on each side.
  • Next, add the white wine. Add salt, pepper, tomato sauce, cover the pan, and let everything simmer over low heat for about two hours.
  • A few minutes before the end of cooking, remove the lid and make sure there is no excess water in the sauce. Then add the chopped garlic and parsley.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serving: 100g | Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 81g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 190mg | Sodium: 9508mg | Potassium: 2411mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 846IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 241mg | Iron: 5mg
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Recipe image from Un Pezzo della Mia Maremma

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