Octopus Ragu

Octopus Ragu
1 octopus
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1 chopped shallot
2-3 dried chilies, more if you like, less if you are a crybabyOctopus

Olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup hefty, hearty red wine (like a Primitivo)

Arts and Crafts Supplies
1 paper bag
1 felt marker
1 pair scissors.

Tenderize your octopus. How, you may ask? Well, I have a Popeil Polpo Pulverizer that I was given as a gift (it’s a big brick), but if you aren’t that lucky, and don’t have an ocean with large rocks outside your door, freeze the octopus and then thaw it. Not as much fun as beating it with a brick, but it does the trick.

Cut your tender ‘pus into bite size pieces. Slice the head part into thin ribbons, discarding the beaky part in the middle, and the very ends of the tendrils.

Choose a good, thick, solid pan, like an earthenware casserole or a good Dutch oven.  Grab the arts and crafts materials.  Put the pot cover on the paper bag, trace a circle and then cut out 2 layers of circle (both the top and the bottom of the paper bag).

Gently warm some olive oil in the pan, add the garlic, shallots and chilies and when everyone has softened and started to mingle, add the octopus.  Cooking only for a minute or so, until you see the octopus bits start to stiffen, add the red wine and tomatoes. Give it a gentle mix. Turn the heat on low, cover the pot with your paper bag circles and then put on the pot lid. Don’t open the pot; don’t peek, for 45 minutes. That’s it. You’re done.
Serve over a bed of linguine or other thick pasta.  Have lots of bread around for sopping up sauce. Finish the dish with some chopped parsley if you like.

This recipe is adapted, with thanks!, from Judy at Divina Cucina, the source of many, many tasty things!
If you are looking for other pasta recipes, visit Ruth’s Once Upon a Blog for Pasta Presto Night inspiration.


  1. onceuponafeast on June 6, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    I must admit…I’ll EAT this dish. It sounds wonderful, but I’d probably never make it myself. Guess I’ll have to just come over to your place for a visit.

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