Dec 17, 2009

Stocco e Patane - Cod and potato casserole recipe

Christmas Eve in the southern regions of Italy is traditionally all about a massive fish-based dinner, family, tombola, and midnight Mass. From now until Natale, I shall be posting recipes of typical Christmas fare, desserts and traditional holiday foods.
Last week Italia Living published an article on the history of Pandoro, a typical Italian Christmas cake. Today I will tell you about a tasty fish entree of which I am very fond of.

Stocco is the Neapolitan distortion of the term used for stoccafisso, which is sun-dried cod. When someone is said to be as rigid as a stoccafisso, the implied similarity to the Atlantic fish plank is quite evident. The surfboard-stiff slabs need reviving with overnight soaking, so if you’re in a hurry to taste this delicious cucina povera dish, I suggest you have your fishmonger prepare and clean some fresh codfish for you, divided into 6 fillet portions.
Image © Claudio Cicali

This tasty peasant dish from Napoli is–contrary to the belief that fish is laborious to cook–very easy to make. Stocco e Patane is delicious when paired to a chilled bottle of Fiano di Avellino or a room temperature carafe of young Chianti Classico (I personally prefer red with tomato-stewed cod).

6 codfish fillets 
600 g (1.3 lbs/3 cups) potatoes, peeled and cut in wedges
2 small onions, thinly sliced 
1 can (14 oz) San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil 
A small pinch of dried oregano 

Drizzle some olive oil in a high-rimmed pot (Dutch oven). Place a layer of sliced potatoes and onions on the bottom of the pot. Cover with the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and sprinkle with oregano. On this bed, lay the fish fillets and repeat the layering.

Season with a bit more salt and oregano, and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

Avoid stirring and check for doneness. If the fish is cooked before the potatoes, remove it and continue cooking the vegetables.

When ready to serve, place the fish back in the pot and heat for a minute or two.

Serve the fillets warm, topped with the onion and potato slices.


  1. Ultimate colori.

    Esso può essere dispiaciuto per mangiare.

    Dall'Estremo Oriente.

  2. Yes, my taste buds are ready for some festive seasonal cod fish dish!! And this one is a great one, thanks for sharing, Lola!!

  3. Aaah, I can smell it simmering in my oven already!

  4. i fall in love with food every time i stop by...sounds delicious! happy holidays friend.

  5. Oh, this reminds me of Christmases spent in Napoli...wah. (Sorry for the outburst).


  6. How it takes me back! Grazie, bella.

  7. It is always so interesting to see what other traditions are from all around the world.
    Canada...not so much. We are such a melting pot of other cultures that it is hard to find something that is our own.
    My French ancestors who were some of the first inhabitants of Canada (documented)would make Tourtieres though. A meat pie. I guess that would count as a traditional dish of Canada.

  8. Merry Christmas beautiful Lola!

    wishing you all the fun and love of the you and your family.
    thank you for all that you share and I look forward to much more in the future.

    best wishes and love
    Ribbon x

  9. it looks simply wonderful...yum!

  10. I am ready to taste all the festive dishes! I will surely love it!

  11. Hi Lola!
    Just briefly stopping by with my very best wishes for Xmas and the New Year! Can’t tell you how much I’ve missed you & your terrific posts since my last visit - but hope to see you very soon back at my place where I’ve just posted my latest Christmas Lola Lifeline! All the best & see you again soon!

    xxxLOL LOLA:)

  12. This looks and sounds wonderful. The few times I've been to Portugal, I always look forward to bacalao. I will definitely try this one of these days.

    A blessed and happy Christmas to you and your family.

  13. I know that if I had my own personl beautiful chef named Lola, I would be able to eat something.

    Love Renee xoxo

  14. God listens to women like you Lola. And why wouldn't he.

    I stayed at Jacquie's till midnight and then had a good nights sleep.

    I know that your son will have a wonderful and meaningful Christmas with you as his Mom I have no doubt.

    Thank you darling.

    Love Renee xoxxo

  15. Lola,

    This looks absolutely fantastic...and a fish recipe I can really many require which I am deathly allergic...but this one...well, it's just perfect!!! I'm copying it down and putting it in my AO&P file...You are a treasure trove of fabulous food my friend...and Italian is simply my fave!!!! Love, Janine XO

  16. yum yum, I think I need to go eat something now!


  17. This looks so delicious! Your blog always makes my mouth water!! And thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - yes, you and your son will LOVE Fantastic Mr. Fox. I hope it comes to Italy soon!! In the meantime, I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!! Hugs, Silke