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Classic baccalà mantecato Venetian style…

Traditionally, baccalà mantecato — baked, creamed cod — is made with saltcod, also known as stockfish or baccalà (also spelled bacalà).

At Ciao Bello, Tony likes to make his with fresh cod.

“It allows me to make the dish less salty than with traditional salt cod,” says Tony. “Baccalà needs to be soaked for days and days to purge it of its salt. By using fresh cod, chef [de cuisine] Bobby [Matos] can create the dish to order, with just the right amount of saltiness.”

While most people think of baccalà mantecato as a classic Venetian dish, it’s also become a part of the Neapolitan gastronomic canon, notes Tony.

“You don’t just find it in Venice and the Veneto anymore. It’s one of those great dishes of Italy.”

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