I translated this recipe from a little book called "Il Pesce: Come si cucina a Venezia," that's pretty much an amalgamation of the many recounted to me... although my sense is the recipe is less important than the technique.


  • 1 - 1.25 lbs whole, cleaned stock fish (cod or other, preferably easy to bone and or skin). Weight is that of the deboned fish - adjust according to what you intend to serve.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • olive oil (Italian, extra-virgin, make sure it's flavorful)
  • 1/2 c. Italian parsley, more or less (stems removed, chopped)
  • salt, fresh ground pepper to taste


Bring the whole fish to a medium boil in a large pot of water for about 40 minutes (don't overcook, however). Remove the skin, head, tail, and de-bone.

Place the fish meat in a heavy mixing bowl, and beat/whip with a wooden mallet or other heavy utensil into small mince-sized pieces. Continue to whip/beat energetically, drizzling the oil "a filo," that is, "by thread," little by little, until it becomes a whipped, white paste. (Some small pieces of fish are likely to remain, however; this is normal.)

Add parsley, minced garlic, salt, and fresh pepper to taste.

Serve on fresh bread, or grilled polenta; excellent accompanied by a young Tocai.

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Submitted 1/28/06.
Source: Il Pesce: Come si cucina a Venezia
Submitted By: Nan McElroy
Baccalà Mantecato (bacaeà mantecà)