A hugely satisfying Italian recipe that’s perfect for a scorching Summer day. The only important thing is that the ingredients are of the highest quality.
Ingredients (for 4): – 1kg octopus, 1 carrot (chopped), 1 celery stalk (chopped), ½ white onion, 2 bayleaves, 3 medium potatoes (espunta are a good variety for this dish), high-quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, chopped parsley, black pepper.
Octopus are out of season in summer, but frozen octopus are fine, come preprepared and don’t require tenderising. You can buy them defrosted at the counter or frozen from the freezer section. If frozen, defrost overnight before cooking.
Bring a pot of water to the boil and “scare” the octopus by dipping it into the boiling water for three seconds each time. This will make it less tough. Add the carrot, celery, onion and bayleaves to the water, then boil the octopus on a medium heat for an hour, and allow it to cool in its own water. When a fork slides easily into the bases of a tentacle, the octopus is cooked.
Meanwhile, peel and boil the potatoes separately until soft and set aside.
Rub any skin you can off the octopus and cut it into bite-size chunks in serving bowl. Chop the potatoes into similar size chunks and mix. Dress with olive oil, squeezed lemon juice, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cook’s tip: This dish is best at room temperature. Add some roast red pepper if you want to add some spectacular colour.
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