Makes 4 servings
1 pound boneless salt cod fillet
1/2 pound boiling potatoes (2 medium), scrubbed and washed
3-4 garlic cloves, minced in a garlic crusher
1 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons good tomato paste
1 scant teaspoon sugar
1. Place the cod in a large pot with ample fresh water and soak for 24 hours, changing the water several times.
2. Bring the potatoes to a boil in a medium sized pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and cool slightly.
3. Peel the potatoes and have the garlic ready. Either with a large mortar or in a mixer with a wire whisk, place the hot, peeled potatoes one or two at a time, and mix, adding a little salt and the olive oil and vinegar in slow, steady, alternating streams until a loose thick sauce forms.
4. Remove and trim cod. Cut into serving pieces. Heat two tablespoons at a time of olive oil and saute the cod over medium heat for about five to six minutes on each side. It should be golden and crisp. Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly oil a large ovenproof glass baking pan, big enough to fit all the fish pieces in one layer.
5. In a separate skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil. Dilute the tomato paste in 3/4 cup water and stir into the hot oil. Stir over medium-low heat until a thick sauce forms. Add the potato-garlic mixture to this, and stir to combine.
6. Spoon a little sauce onto the bottom of the pan and place the fried cod on top. Spoon the remainiing sauce over the fish and bake in a moderate oven for about five to eight minutes. Remove and serve warm.