Stewed octopus



Many Italian dishes are actually regional delicacies as each region has its own distinctive culinary traits, from north to south. And it's not difficult to find the common denominators. Mediterranean cuisine, for example, is typified by certain aromas and colors, such as tomatoes, garlic, and oregano. One of the most versatile and widely used mollusks in Italian cuisine is the octopus. It’s a fixture on party tables in the form of salads or carpaccio, enveloped by layers of pasta in lasagna, and even rolled up in a tortilla wrap for casual dinners at home. Today, however, we’ve decided to prepare a tasty old-school octopus stew. Don’t get it confused with Luciana-style octopus, a Neapolitan recipe where the mollusk is usually cooked in its juices. This delicious recipe comes with an excellent sauce that is perfect for dipping bread to accompany the octopus portions rendered succulent by cooking in tomato sauce. The combination will be a real treat for your taste buds! So, are you ready to make stewed octopus? Here’s our recipe.

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Octopus 1.75 lbs (800 g)
Tomato puree 1 ¼ cup (310 g)
Shallot 1
Garlic 1 clove
Thyme 4 sprigs
Sage 2 leaves
Water 1 cup (1 l)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste

How to prepare Stewed octopus

To make stewed octopus, start by cleaning the octopus. After rinsing and drying the octopus, place it on a chopping board and cut across the head where the eyes are 1 to remove them. In the middle, underneath the octopus, you will find the beak, which you need to cut out using a small knife 2. Lastly, clean out the head and rinse 3.

Next, peel the shallot. Slice 4 the shallot and place in a bowl, then peel the garlic clove and transfer everything to the stove. Heat a splash of oil in a large pan and add the garlic 5 and shallot 6.

Pour in the tomato passata and turn up the heat 7. Season with salt and add the thyme leaves 8, sage 9,

and water 10. Heat well until the mixture comes to a boil, then dip the octopus tentacles in three times 11. This will make them curl up nicely 12.

Make sure the tentacles have taken on their distinctive curled shape, then plunge the whole octopus into the sauce 13. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for 50 minutes 14. To be sure it’s cooked, remember to prick the octopus on the inside where the beak was located. If a fork penetrates the flesh easily, then it’s cooked 15.

Sprinkle everything with a grind of pepper 16 and transfer the octopus to a board, cutting it into pieces the size you prefer 17 and serving in its sauce. Your stewed octopus is ready. Enjoy 18!


This stewed octopus is best eaten immediately, but if you prefer you can keep it in the refrigerator for a couple of days at most.

If you wish, you can freeze it once it’s ready, provided you used fresh, not frozen, octopus.


Make some tasty croutons in the oven or in a frying pan, flavoring them with garlic and oregano: They will go perfectly with the delicious sauce. Or, if you double the amount of passata and water, you can soak the croutons in the sauce and dish everything up as a soup. If that doesn't satisfy you and you just can’t get enough of this delicious sauce, simply cook up some pasta and pour it on.