Roasted Cod with Linguica

 

This is a quick version of the classic Portuguese pairing of fish and pork, often done with clams or other fish as a stew known as a cataplana. I didn’t have wherewithal to manage a cataplana so I improvised after buying cod at a farmer’s market. The key ingredients, beside the cod, are linguica, a smoked sausage from Portugal, and a preserved sweet red-pepper paste, massa de pimentao. My Portuguese mother-in-law and her siblings used to make both each year, keeping me regularly supplied, but the tradition is waning with advancing age, alas. Linguica's main ingredients are wine, garlic and massa de pimentao, which this recipe echoes. If you can’t find linguica, you can substitute chorizo or another spiced, smoked pork sausage. You can make your own pepper paste (http://food52.com/recipes/14420_jean_andersons_sweet_red_pepper_paste_brmassa_de_pimento) or there’s an easy shortcut in this recipe, which works fine. There are endless variations to this. You can adjust the ingredients fit the amount of fish you’re cooking, whether for one or ten. You can use any firm white fish. I’ve also done it with hake and monkfish. Sometimes I add potatoes, sometimes onions; other herbs like thyme or oregano also work, depending on one’s mood. You can also substitute canned tomatoes, but it makes the sauce thicker and more cloying (though not in a very bad way). It’s best to use an oven proof frying pan large enough to hold the fish for the roasting, which has the added benefit of making it a one-pot meal.

What you will need

1 tablespoon olive oil

Half pound linguica (or other spiced, smoked sausage) chopped into half-inch cubes

3 cloves of garlic, sliced

1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1 cup dry white wine

2 large tomatoes or three medium

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and blended coarsely with a half teaspoon of salt

2 bay leaves, fresh if possible, or dried

1 to 1.5 pounds fresh cod, cut into four serving-size chunks

Salt to taste

1 handful parsley, chopped for garnish

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