Bacalao con Tomate: How to Embark on A Culinary Journey

Bacalao con Tomate: How to Embark on A Culinary Journey

Today, we embark on a gastronomic journey to the heart of Spain with a dish that embodies the soul of its cuisine – Bacalao con Tomate. This dish, featuring cod fish bathed in a homemade tomato sauce, is a testament to the beauty of simplicity and the power of well-balanced flavors.

The Tale of Bacalao con Tomate

Our journey begins with the humble cod, a fish that has been a cornerstone of many cultures for centuries. Cod, or “bacalao” as it is known in Spanish, was often preserved through salting and drying, making it a reliable source of nutrition for long sea voyages.

The arrival of tomatoes from the New World added a new chapter to this tale. The sweet and tangy flavor of the tomato sauce beautifully balances the salty, flaky cod, creating a dish that is both comforting and invigorating.

The Craft of Cooking Cod (Bacalao con Tomate)

Preparing cod is an art that requires finesse. The secret to a perfect cod fish meal is to cook it just right – overcooking can result in a tough and rubbery texture while undercooking leaves it raw and unappetizing. The trick is to sear it on high heat to seal in the juices, then let it gently simmer until it’s cooked through.

The Charm of Homemade Tomato Sauce

No Bacalao con Tomate is complete without a luscious, homemade tomato sauce. The secret to a great sauce lies in the quality of the tomatoes. Fresh, ripe tomatoes are slowly simmered with garlic, onions, and herbs until they break down into a thick, flavorful sauce. This sauce forms the heart of our Bacalao con Tomate, enveloping the cod in a blanket of tangy, savory goodness.

Variations and Hints

While the traditional Bacalao con Tomate is a culinary masterpiece in itself, there are countless variations to explore. Some chefs like to add a splash of white wine for acidity, while others prefer to add bell peppers for a bit of crunch. The beauty of this dish lies in its versatility – feel free to experiment and make it your own!

Here are a few hints to elevate your Bacalao con Tomate:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients. The simplicity of this dish means that each ingredient shines, so make sure they’re the best you can find.
  • Don’t rush the cooking process. Let the tomato sauce simmer to develop a deep, rich flavor.
  • Serve with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce. Trust us, you won’t want to waste a drop!


Bacalao con Tomate is more than just a codfish dish – it’s a celebration of Spanish cuisine and a testament to the power of simple, fresh ingredients. So the next time you’re in the mood for a culinary adventure, why not give it a try? You might just find your new favorite dish. ¡Que aproveche!

Bacalao con tomate

Bacalao con Tomate: How to Embark on A Culinary Journey

Bacalao con Tomate is a traditional Spanish dish that beautifully combines the flavors of the sea and the earth. The star of the dish is cod, a fish known for its flaky texture and mild flavor. The cod is cooked until it’s just right – not too raw, not too rubbery. The homemade tomato sauce, made from fresh, ripe tomatoes simmered with garlic, onions, and herbs, adds a tangy, savory dimension to the dish. Here's a recipe for it:
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Desalting time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 4 Cod fillets (fresh or desalted)
  • 1 Medium onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 Can crushed tomatoes (14.5-ounce)
  • ¼ tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour for dredging (optional)


  • Desalt the cod if using dried salt cod. Submerge the cod in a large bowl of cold water in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours, changing the water every 12 hours.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.
  • If using the green bell pepper, add it to the pan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until softened.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, cumin, and sugar (if using) to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • While the sauce is simmering, dredge the cod fillets in flour (optional) for a thicker texture. Heat additional olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Sear the cod fillets for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through.
  • Add the cooked cod fillets to the tomato sauce. Spoon the sauce over the cod and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Serve immediately with your favorite sides, such as rice, potatoes, or crusty bread.


Here are some tips:
  • You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes. Peel, seed, and dice the tomatoes before adding them to the pan.
  • If you don’t have cod, you can substitute another white fish, such as halibut or haddock.
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce for a touch of spice.
Keyword fish
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