Mediterranean style Octopus stew

One of the most delicious things to cook at home. It reminds me of a warm night at Mediterranean sea (Spanish coast, Puglia in Italy or Greek islands), soft breeze coming from the ocean side, fulfilment from a long hiking day spent in discovery of the new trail Heaven.

Cooking, at first glance, looks quite intimidating, but it turns out to be surprisingly easy while you cook, so you can call yourself a Chef with a capital C. :)

Rich in B vitamins and minerals, such as selenium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, octopus delivers a decent amount of lean protein and can be a great alternative to chicken.

There are different arguments against and in favour of octopus’s consumption regarding the heart system. Obviously, a sea creature is rich in saturated fat that increases the risk of heart failure, but it also contains a good amount of taurine that works out against congestive heart failure. Taurine also helps preventing the oxidative stress the body has post exercising.

But everything in moderation, one-time stunning dinner (and high protein!) won’t hurt anyone, especially if you train a lot.

Here is a simple guide how-to cook at home “Polpi in Umido” – tender Octopus stew in tomatoes and wine originated in Puglia. 

Ingredients:

  • Octopus (1kg)
  • Garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • White wine (1 cup)
  • Bull’s heart tomato (2)
  • Chili flakes (1 tsp)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Honey (1 tsp)
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil

Method:

Frozen octopus is the one that is widely available. It is the best choice since freezing tenderizes the flesh and has no risk of being cooked tough and chewy. Normally frozen octopuses come clean, but if not, make sure your clean it well (for better results, check out YouTube videos).
Wash sea creature in the water and dip it for 1-2 minutes into in a hot boiling water. Discard the water.
Cut octopus into large pieces and sauté it in the olive oil over high heat for 2-3 minutes.
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Time to add chopped garlic cloves and sauté for another minute or two.
Add the white wine and bring to a boil over the high heat and keep on stirring for 3-4 minutes.
Add skinned chopped tomatoes (best way to skin tomatoes is to put them into a hot water, so they unskin themselves) together with chili flakes and bring to simmer.
Add salt and honey to the pot, mix well and simmer for about 35-40 minutes in a covered pot.
Add a half of dill and parsley mix, simmer for another 25-30 minutes.

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To serve, put the tentacles into a bowl, cover with a stew and add remaining dill and parsley with black pepper. Serve with crispy bread and oh well, a nice glass of white wine together with a nice companion to pair with an interesting seafood meal.
ENJOY!

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