Sauteed Baby Octopus
Used with permission from the new cookbook
One Pot Italian Cooking
Alterations should be made to fit with your dietary needs. Please
consult with your medical team before you attempt to make this recipe.
Sauteed Baby Octopus Makes 4 Servings
1/2 cup/50ml extra-virgin olive oil
2lb/1kg tiny octopus, blanched
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup/250ml white wine
2 tbsp/30 ml tomato paste
2 cups/500ml fresh plum (Roma) tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
salt and pepper
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan
- Add the octopus and saute until the flesh wrinkles about 2 minutes
- Some browning isn't a problem
- Add the onion and garlic, stirring to prevent burning
- Add the wine and cook until it evaporates
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook until dry, about 3 to 5 minutes
- Add the tomatoes, season to taste
- Simmer for 15 to 25 minutes or until the octopus is fork tender
My first real restaurant job was in 1975, at Trattoria dall'Amelia in Mestre, near Venice. One day, Chef shouted for me "Clean this" he ordered. Being from the center of northern Italy, I had never seen an octopus before, let alone cleaned one. It took some time to get the hang of it, but it was it ever worth it! Chef let me try some of the cooked octopus, and the flavor and texture were fantastic. It's a taste experience I've never forgotten. If cooked properly, these tiny octopus will be crunchy but not tough. They're particularly good served over slices of grilled polenta. Sometimes I also add a few fresh or frozen peas in the last few minutes of cooking.
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