the appetizer:

Explore regional Italian recipes in Italia by Antonio Carluccio, including Chickpea Fritters (Panelle con Frittella); Giant Ravioli with Pecorino and Honey (Sebadas); and Eel Baked with Bay Leaves (Bisato sul' Ara).

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Eel Baked with Bay Leaves
Bisato sul' Ara

Eel Baked with Bay Leaves


Serves 4

This typical Venetian recipe is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve. It originates from the Comacchio Valley, south of Chioggia, where the eels are wonderful and fat. This recipe calls for chunks from a large eel and bay leaves only. Oven baking does the rest, as it regulates the amount of fat and cooks the eels perfectly. I suggest you accompany the dish with a beet salad.


Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lay the bay leaves over the bottom of a shallow baking dish, then place the chunks of eel on top. Bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the eel is tender. The fat in the eels and the bay leaves will be enough to flavor the dish.

Season the eels with salt and pepper to taste and serve, with lemon wedges.


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This page created October 2008