We are on vacation in an RV and are now camped near Venice. Most evenings we eat at restaurants to sample the local cuisine, but tonight we wanted to stay at the campsite and so I cycled to the local pescivendolo. Moscardini, baby octopus, are currently in season. Since I had an immersion circulator with me anyway for showing it to Marina, I thought it would be nice to cook the moscardini sous-vide. Just like regular octopus, the moscardini released a flavorful liquid that I used to make a simple pasta sauce. The result was very tasty indeed, with great depth of flavor. You could also make this with regular octopus, but the texture will be slightly different and the cooking time longer.
For 2 servings
400 grams (.9 lb) baby octopus, to end up with 300 grams of cleaned octopus
150 grams (.33 lb) linguine
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1/2 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced
60 ml (1/4 cup) dry white wine
Clean the baby octopus by removing the eyes, the beaks, and the insides of the heads. Vacuum seal them together with some salt, the onion, celery, and garlic. As I did bring my immersion circulator but not my vacuum sealer, I used a ziploc bag and the water displacement method.
Cook sous-vide at 85C/185F for one hour. Baby octopus requires less time than regular octopus (3 hours). Please note that I used 4 baby octopus of about 100 grams (3.5 oz) each before cleaning. If yours are bigger, you need to cook them longer for them to become tender.
The octopus will release quite a lot of liquid.
After cooking sous-vide, drain the octopus, and reserve the liquid.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. As the water used for cooking the moscardini was already almost at the boiling point, I used that water. The burners in an RV are very slow! Add salt and the linguine, and cook for about a minute less than the time indicated on the package for al dente. Meanwhile, chop the moscardini and sauté them in a frying pan in olive oil over high hea for a minute.
Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) of dry white wine, and stir for a minute.
Add the reserved juices, and bring to a boil.
Drain the pasta, and add to the moscardini.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the parsley and toss to mix.
Serve at once on preheated plates.
A delicious pasta dish from the Italian region of Abruzzo: chitarra pasta with lamb ragù.