In Puglia it’s not difficult to find fishermen vigorously slamming freshly octopus on the rocks. It’s their way to make octopus tender and curl the tentacles. All this may seem like a torture, it is actually only the prelude to a delicious dinner. One of the oldest recipes and summery Apulian recipes is the “purpu in pignata”. Pignata is the traditional terracotta pot produced in Lecce area. The oldest method of cooking octopus is precisely in pignata with the addition of potatoes and various aromas to enhance the flavor. I revisited this dish and it comes out like a middle way between ‘polpo in pignatta’ and ‘polpo alla luciana’. The preparation is simple, maybe a little long but it’s worth it because this dish is very tasty.
Ingredients (servings: 2)
2 fresh octopus cleaned
250 g tomato sauce
hot chili pepper
1 bunch of Italian parsley
1 garlic clove
200 g potatoes
Potato quenelles: cook the potatoes in salted water for 45 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the octopus. Pass the pulp through a potato masher or use a fork. Add the potatoes into a pan with oil, salt and black pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Make quenelles with 2 spoons.
Octopus: Place the octopus in a sauce pan with the chopped onions, garlic, chopped parsley, and red pepper. After 4 minutes add the octopus and after 2 minutes add the red wine. Let it evaporate. Add the tomato sauce and the black pepper. Cover and cook for approximately 1 hour. Add water if necessary.
Serve hot with potato quenelles.