Any salt cod must be soaked in cold water for about 72 hours before it can be used in any recipe. It’s best to change the soaking water morning and night during that period. I save the milk in which I poach the salt cod in this recipe, and use it to make chowder.

Serves 4-6

1 pound reconstituted salt cod

1-2 cups milk

Salt for pasta water

1 pound spaghetti


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

½ cup dry white wine

1/4 cup drained and rinsed capers, roughly chopped

10 sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, sliced into strips

20 oil-cured black olives, roughly chopped


1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/4 cup chopped parsley

Zest from 1 lemon

Black pepper

1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs

Place cod in a small pan. Cover with milk. Place over medium heat and cook until fish flakes, about 10 minutes. Remove fish from pan. Remove the skin from the fish and discard. Flake the fish into small pieces and set aside. (Save the milk for chowder.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop pasta into pot and cook until el dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water before draining the pasta.

While the pasta cooks, add the oil to a large skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the salt cod and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add capers, tomatoes, olives and cooked pasta. Toss together and loosen the sauce with reserved pasta water.

Cook 2-3 minutes to let the sauce thicken. Add herbs, lemon zest and black pepper to taste. Garnish with the bread crumbs and serve.

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