Christmas Eve in Italy is synonymous with fish. Here is a tasty recipe for linguine with cod, walnut sauce and fried breadcrumb.

Linguine with cod with walnut sauce and fried breadcrumb – Yields 4 servings (500 g linguine)

For the Baccalà sauce

500 g desalted cod fillet, scaled, peeled and cubed
3 fresh anchovies, deboned
1 ½ Kg canned tomatoes
1 celery rib
1 carrot
½ onion
1 garlic clove
1 3 inch section leek
2 parsley stems
Chilli pepper and oregano
White wine
100 g extra virgin olive oil

Bone and peel the cod fillet. Brown the celery, carrot, onion, chilli, leek, anchovy fillets, fish bones and skins of cod with garlic in a sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook for 40 minutes over medium heat, making sure the sauce does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

Leave to cool and purée through a food mill. Return the sauce to the stove and add the desalted cod fillet. Cook until everything is well melded.

For the walnut sauce

100 g walnuts
50 g stale bread soaked in milk
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh parsley, minced
Salt, pepper and garlic to taste

In a blender, blitz the walnuts with the wet and squeezed bread, half a clove of garlic and a dahs of pepper. Dilute with extra virgin olive oil poured in slowly, until it reaches the consistency of a velvety cream. Finish with chopped parsley.

For the fried breadcrumb

100 g stale bread, crumbled
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper and oregano

Fry the crumbled bread in a thin layer of olive oil in non-stick pan. Sprinkle in some salt, pepper and oregano.

Plating the dish: cook the pasta al dente and sauté it in a pan with plenty of cod sauce, 5 spoonfuls of walnut sauce and chopped parsley. Serve sprinkled with the fried breadcrumb.