Polenta con aringa mantecata

This dish is inspired by a traditional dish from the area of Venice: baccala mantecato (creamed stockfish). For this dish stockfish is cooked in milk until it reaches a creamy consistency. The creamed stockfish is then served on top of polenta.

Polenta e aringa mantecata

Instead of making creamed stockfish, I made creamed herring.

Since salted smoked herring has a more pronounced flavor than stockfish, I figured it could hold up to more assertive flavors. I decided to cook the herring in tomato sauce instead of milk and I got a really tasty sauce.

I served it on top of polenta and received the approval of my Venetian friends.

Creamed herring

Yield: 3-4 Servings


  • 1 lb smoked salted herring
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 2-3 anchovies
  • salt
  • oil
  • polenta


  1. Soak the herring overnight to rinse the salt. The next day, debone the herring.
  2. In a pot, saute the onion, chili and anchovies in a bit of olive oil. When the onion is soft, add the herring. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the tomato sauce and cook until the herring falls apart and the sauce is thick about 1 hour.
  4. Serve on top of polenta.
  5. Note: it could also be serve on crusty bread or crackers. Just choose a vessel that is rather plain to contrast the saltiness of the herring.

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5 Responses to Polenta con aringa mantecata

  1. Baccalà mantecato is truly ambrosial, but this sounds very tasty, too. It also has the great advantage of being quick. Stockfish takes forever, it seems, to soak!

  2. Lorenzo says:

    Congratulazioni per il piatto, sembra davvero ottimo…non vedo l’ora di provare a cucinarlo, ma sicuramente sarà delizioso; la Polenta si presta a molti utilizzi, e questo è decisamente ottimo.

    Saluti da Milano (Lombardy).

  3. Hmmm salted smoked herring sounds delicious! I always love poleneta! This looks delicious!

  4. Ramona says:

    Love the flavors of the anchovies with the polenta. Looks like a great dish to try. 🙂

  5. Well, if you have the Venetian stamp of approval, it must be delicious.

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