Auntie Lucia makes this dish throughout the year in Puglia as Bari is a main fishing port but primarily it is a summer dish. She has her own name for it – Polpio Luciana. It is an example of typical rustic Southern Italian comfort food. A perfect opening recipe for anyone cooking octopus at home for the first time. Auntie Lucia always places a large bowl of this in the middle of the table and serves it as a starter with crusty bread but it can also be served with green beans and sautéed courgettes for a main course - the aromas are intoxicating!
This stewed, deliciously tender octopus dish requires long, slow simmering, the longer you allow it to cook, the better this dish gets, so keep your temperature low.
1 kg octopus cut into smallish pieces (ask your fishmonger to clean and cut up for you if you can!)
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large glass Terre Di San Vito Apeneste white wine
400g ripe or tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper
Preparing the dish:
This can be cooked in a pressure cooker or slowly in a large saucepan.
Ask your fishmonger to clean and chop the octopus into chunks and strips.
Heat some olive oil in a pan and add your chopped garlic.
Add the octopus and sauté it gently for a few minutes until it is golden then add the wine.
Bring the wine to a boil to burn off the alcohol for a couple of minutes and add the chopped tomatoes, water, a pinch of salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid and leave to cook slowly on a low heat for around an hour and a half (checking that the liquid remains - if not add a little boiling water occasionally). When cooked, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with a little fresh bread as a starter.
Place into a large serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with a little fresh bread as a starter.
Try and get your fishmonger to clean and chop the octopus into slices
Remember the longer you cook this, the better – the octopus will become soft and tender
Can be served hot or cold
Always serve this with a bottle of our fabulous Terre Di San Vito white wine Apeneste