Spanish Cod In Tomato Sauce- this dish is usually made with salted cod (bacalao) in a delicious tomato sauce flavored with onions, garlic, peppers, and smoked paprika.
Spanish cuisine is delicious by default. Most Spanish recipes are easy to make and use whole ingredients that are nutritious and good for you.
It is nice to "travel" to different countries through their cuisines without even leaving the house.
I often make Spanish recipes as I love their simplicity and how easy it is to put food on the table using fresh ingredients.
For example, Chickpeas Green Beans With Pork And Spanish Chorizo is a recipe that uses cans of chickpeas I always have in my pantry.
Once in a while, I like to make a breakfast that is not for the faint of heart. This Spanish Migas Con Chorizo or Garlic Pan Fried Bread&Chorizo Sausage recipe is a super hearty one that is very popular in Spain.
How about this potato salad made with tuna? It would be a perfect meal if you had some potatoes, mayo, a can of tuna, and some carrots. Check it out!
A Spanish Favorite
For hundreds of years, eating meat was banned on Fridays before Lenten. Because of that, people would replace meat with fish.
In many parts of Spain, cod was one of the few fish that could be consumed, as transportation of fresh fish was quite impossible with the few options to preserve it.
People discovered that cod was a cheap fish that endured transportation conditions very well when salted and dried.
Today, it's still very common to find salted cod in almost all food stores in Spain. While salted cod is the traditional main ingredient for this dish, not everyone has access to it. The good news is that we can make this dish with fresh or frozen fish.
- Olive oil- To get closer to what a traditional Spanish recipe should be, a good quality extra virgin olive oil is good to have around. However, if you do not have olive oil, use vegetable oil, like sunflower oil.
- Cod file - if you are one of the lucky ones with access to fresh fish, go for it, as there is nothing better than a dish made with fresh ingredients. I know, though, that many of you cannot buy fresh fish always, so frozen cod is perfectly acceptable. I am one of these people who shops a lot at Trader Joe's, and this is where I buy my frozen fish supply. Any white fish would also work.
- All-purpose flour- you need only a few tablespoons, as you will use it to fry the fish before it goes into the tomato sauce.
- Garlic cloves
- Green and red bell pepper
- Tomato puree
- Bay leaves
- Smoked or regular paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Granulated sugar
How to make this recipe
Step 1. Place the flour on a plate and toss the cod pieces in it. Set aside.
Step 2. Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil. After 2 minutes or when the olive oil is hot, add the cod pieces and fry them on each side for 2-3 minutes.
For the ones out there who might freak out over the fried food, this one is fried SO lightly that it's practically healthy. Seriously!
Transfer them into a dish and set them aside.
Step 3. Add the diced onions and garlic and mix them with the oil using the same pan. Scrap up anything that was leftover from frying the cod and mix it with the onions.
Add the green and red bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to your taste and the smoked or regular paprika.
Step 4. Add the can of tomatoes, sugar, and bay leaves and mix until well combined.
Set the heat on low and simmer the sauce until the peppers cook for about 5 minutes.
Step 5. Return the cod to the pan and allow the sauce and fish to simmer together for two more minutes. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper.
Step 6. Serve directly from the pan.
I do not have cod fish. What else can I use?
Luckily, there are many options out there if you cannot find cod. Haddock, black cod, pollack, striped bass, Mahi Mahi, and Grouper are all good.
A glass of white wine would go well with this dish, and you can also serve it over rice, if you prefer, or just with a piece of your favorite bread. You can make this excellent no-knead bread!
More Spanish Recipes
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Spanish Cod In Tomato Sauce
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds cod file cut in 6 pieces or if you prefer cut in smaller bite size chunks(like the one from Trader Joe's)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves diced
- 1 medium size green bell pepper
- 1 medium size red bell pepper
- 14 ounces tomato puree 1 can
- 1-2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
- Place the flour on a plate and toss the pieces of cod in it. Set aside.
- Heat a nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat and add the extra virgin olive oil.
- After 2 minutes or when the olive oil is hot, add the cod pieces and fry them 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer them into a separate dish and set them aside.
- Using the same pan, add the diced onions and garlic and mix them with the oil. Scrap up anything that was left over from frying the cod and mix it with the onions.
- Add the green and red bell pepper and cook together about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to your taste and the smoked or regular paprika.
- Add the can of tomatoes, sugar and the Bay leaves and mix together until well combined.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce until the peppers are cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Return the cod to the pan and allow the sauce and fish to simmer together for 2 more minutes. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper.
- Serve directly from the pan.