You can encounter baby octopus in a hot red sauce all along the long Italian coastline. “Alla diavola” refers to the use of chilli flakes. You can make it as hot or as mild as you like. If you are fortunate enough to have access to good ripe tomatoes and fresh baby octopus, all the better. But this is nice enough when using frozen baby octopus and canned peeled tomatoes. The baby octopus do take a while to become tender, but otherwise this is a simple dish that can be served either as antipasto or as secondo.
For 2 servings as a main course, or 4 servings as an appetizer
500 grams (1.1 lbs) baby octopus (thawed if using frozen)
125 grams (1/2 cup) peeled tomatoes, pureed in the foodprocessor
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 small carrot, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh flat leaf parsley
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
1 tsp chilli flakes, or to taste
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mince garlic, carrot, onion, and parsley.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the minced vegetables, and stir for a minute over medium heat.
Add the baby octopus…
…and stir over high heat until the octopus releases its water.
Add 80 ml of dry white wine…
…125 grams of pureed tomatoes…
…and chilli flakes to taste. Season with salt and stir.
Bring to a boil…
…then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover with the lid slightly ajar, and simmer…
…until the octopus is tender and the sauce has been reduced, about an hour. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and chilli flakes.
Serve the baby octopus hot, with the sauce (or at room temperature in summer).
These duck and orange ravioli are just wonderful. Duck and orange are a classic combination, and in these ravioli they come together in elegant pillows of thin pasta.