This recipe was inspired by a dish I ate at a lovely restaurant along the Douro river in Porto. The sauce is not the same, but the presentation is similar. My sauce is so creamy and smooth you would never believe it doesn't have any cream or butter!
The salt cod is poached in milk and then flaked and reserved. The sauce is then blended smoothly with a generous swirl of white truffle oil. The linguine is tossed in to finish cooking and it is all served up with the flaked cod and black olive crumbs. It is fast and sure to impress. Just make sure you follow the link on how to desalt and rehydrate your salt cod. This can take up to 48 hours, so plan ahead. After that, this recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes. If you have more time, let the cod soak in the milk for up to 1 hour after poaching.
You can dehydrate the olives in an oven, but I prefer fresh olives for this dish, so I just chop them up as small as possible.
Creamy Truffled Linguine with Salt Cod & Black Olive Crumbs
20 minutes cook time, up to 48 prep time
*Immersion/ stick blender needed
500 g. Salt cod loins, desalted and rehydrated
400 g. Fresh or dried linguine pasta
240 g. Onion, roughly chopped
180 g. Fresh tomato, quartered
70 g. Pitted Kalamata olives, very finely minced
400 ml. Full fat/ whole milk
200 ml. Seafood stock, store-bought or homemade
125 ml. Dry white wine
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
6 Cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Bay leaves
1 tbsp. White truffle oil, plus more to serve
1 tbsp. Red or white wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
1/4- tsp. Ground white pepper
Bunch of flat-leaf parsley or coriander (cilantro) to serve, finely chopped and divided.
Salt to taste
1. In a saucepan on medium/high heat, add olive oil, onions, bay leaves, garlic, and tomato. Saute until fragrant and onion starts to turn a light golden colour. Stirring often to prevent garlic from burning.
2. Add wine and vinegar. Let cook for about 2 minutes and then add stock and milk.
Add Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and pepper. Taste for salt at this point. Adjust. Add cod skin side up.
Cover and reduce heat to low. Poach for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes it is ready.
Do not worry if the sauce looks curdled, it is from the vinegar, it will smooth out beautifully when it's blended.
* If you have time, you can let the cod sit in the milk for up to an hour.
4. Meanwhile bring a large stockpot with generously salted water to a boil. Cook linguine according to package directions for al dente. Subtracting 1 minute, it will finish in the sauce.
5. While pasta cooks, lift cod out of milk and reserve to a plate. Discard bay leaves.
Flake cod into large pieces, discarding skin and bones. Set aside in a bowl.
6. Using an immersion/ stick blender, blend milk poaching liquid, along with onions, garlic and tomato until smooth. Put back in the saucepan and keep warm.
7. Drain pasta and reserve a cup of the cooking water, just in case you need to thin out your sauce. Add pasta to the sauce and increase heat to a low/ medium simmer. Cook stirring for about a minute. Add the truffle oil and 1/2 the parsley, stir to combine.
8. Pour hot water, or even the pasta cooking water, over the cod and let it warm through while you plate the pasta.
9. Divide the pasta into 4 large bowls, top with olive crumbs. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cod flakes from water and top generously amongst the four bowls. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve with more white truffle oil to drizzle.