Polpo con patate (octopus with potatoes)


  • 1 whole octopus, the bigger the better. Realistically speaking, in the US the largest octopi that I have seen are about 1.8 lbs. A few years ago in Italy I was able to secure a 5lbs octopus. A beast!
  • 50% by weight of Yukon gold potatoes. So for a 1.8 lbs of octopus get 3/4 lbs of potatoes.
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, the bigger the better.
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic.
  • 1/2 cup of exgtra virgin olive oil.
  • 2 bay leaves, preferably fresh, but dry would do too.
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinegar.
  • 1 tbls of salt.
  • 1/2 lemon.

Preparation (octopus):

Clean and rinse the octopus.

Fill a large pot with water, add the bay leaves and the vinegar.

Bring it to a boil.

With the water boling, immerse and lift the octopus 3 times, so that the tentacles become curly. Then leave the octopus in the boling water, covered.

Time: 20 minutes per each lbs of weight, so for a 1.8 lbs octopus let it simmer for 36 minutes.

Once the cooking time has elapsed, turn off the heat, and let the octopus rest for 1 hour.

After that, remove it from the pot, and let it rest on a plate for at least 15-20 minutes.

Preparation (potatoes):

At the same you’re cooking the octopus prepare the potatoes.

Scrub the potatoes, dice the in 1″ cubes.

In a pot with plenty of water and salt, let it come to a boit, and then simmer for 10-15 minutes (check for doneness).

Preparation (parsley pesto):

Wash the parley, and separate the leaves from the stalks. Discard the stalks.

Peelmthe garlic.

Cut the parsley and the garlic with a chef knive on a cutting board, it needs to be coarse and not too fine.

Preparation (final assembly):

In a large seving bowsl, cut the octopus legsinto 1″ long piece.

Add the potatoes, the pesto, and the olive oil and the lemon juice.
Mix it gently.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Enjoy with slices of good quality crusty bread.



1 large onion
1.5 lbs chicken liver
12 oz beef liver
4 tbsp capers
3 oz tomato paste
1 container anchovies
3 hard boiled eggs


Carmelize the onions in large skillet and put aside in a bowl for later.

Hard boil the 3 eggs.

Cut the beef liver into pieces and cook in olive oil over medium heat. Once cooked pass through food mill.

Next cook chicken livers in olive oil over medium heat. Pass through food mill and add to beef livers.

In a food processor, blend onions, capers, tomato paste, anchovies, eggs and half the processed beef/chicken livers.

Fold the mixture blended in the food processor with the remainder courser liver.

Let it cool and then set in the fridge at least 1-2hours, better if overnight.




1/4 cup olive oil
3-1/2 cups 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
3 tablespoons chopped drained bottled capers
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted lightly
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves

In a heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until it hot but not smoking, in it cook the eggplant, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl.

To the skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and in it cook the onion and the celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the olives, the capers, the vinegar, the sugar, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender, and transfer it to the bowl.

Stir in the parsley, let the caponata cool, and chill it, covered,overnight. Season the caponata with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.


Photography by Nyaa Birdies-Perch




1 pound loose spinach
12 ounces ricotta
3 eggs
1-1/4 cup flour
3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano


Cook spinach in very little water. Drain and squeeze out all excess water. Chop finely. Place in a large mixing bowl and add ricotta, eggs, parmigiano, and flour. Blend well.

Bring to boil large pot of salted water. Lower to simmer. Season spinach mixture with salt and a generous grating of fresh nutmeg. Form ravioli by using a spoon or using floured hands.

Drop a few at a time into water. They will drop the bottom and then float to the top when done. Let simmer 20-30 seconds.

Remove with slotted spoon or ladle and place in an oven-proof dish until ready to serve. Serve with fresh sage leaves sautéed in butter until crisp.

Pour butter and sage on top of ravioli, toss gently, and serve with parmesan cheese or tomato sauce.


Photography by Trozbo




5 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
4 large chicken livers, trimmed of membranes and connective tissue
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup vin santo
2 salt-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed, or 2 olive oil–packed anchovies
1 Tbs. capers, rinsed and minced
1/2 cup chicken broth, if needed
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 baguette, thinly sliced

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until lightly fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken livers, season with salt and stir to coat with the oil. Then add the vin santo and let the alcohol bubble away for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook the livers gently, turning occasionally, until they are a deep, rich brown on the outside and tender pink on the inside, 8 to 10 minutes.

Transfer the livers to a cutting board and slice them open down the middle. Return them, cut side down, to the pan. Add the anchovy fillets and capers, increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, stirring often, until the livers are no longer pink, about 5 minutes more.

Using a food processor or handheld blender, process the mixture until it is a thick paste, adding a little chicken broth if it is too stiff and dry. Blend in the butter, stirring until it has melted into the pâté. Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the baguette slices generously with the pâté, arrange on individual plates and serve immediately.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Tuscany, by Lori De Mori (Time-Life Books, 2001)


Photography by Conanil




10 cloves of garlic, peeled and diced
4 cups of onions, finely chopped
3 3/4 cups of sugar
2 cups of wine
2 tbsp of lemon juice
2 (3oz) packs of pectin
3 tbsp of unsalted butter
1 tbsp of vegetable oil


Sautee the onion and garlic in the butter and vegetable oil for ten minutes. Add 1/2 cup off sugar and stir until dissolved.

Combine the garlic sauté, wine, lemon and half the sugar in a pan and let stand for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, add the remaining sugar and place the pan over a medium-high heat; stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mix to a boil for two minutes.

Remove the pan from the flame and skim off any foam that accumulates. Place the pan over the heat again for 1 minute to boil. Again, remove and skim off the foam. Add the butter and bring the mixture to a boil again. Add the pectin and stir constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Skim off the foam.

Allow the jam to cool for 7 minutes before adding it to canning jars. Close the jars and bath them in 250-degree water for 10 minutes to create a seal.


Photography by CarbonNYC




1 (14.5 ounce) can of Garbanzo beans
kosher salt and pepper
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Drain the garbanzo beans and gently pat dry. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

In a resealable plastic bag shake together flour, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and granulated garlic. Add garbanzo beans and toss to lightly coat.

Shake off any excess flour. Lay garbanzo beans in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Bake 25-35 minutes, shaking the baking sheet every 10 minutes or so to roll the beans around. When they are done they will be golden brown and crunchy.

from: http://www.lifesambrosia.com


Photography by Little Li




1 cup chopped pumpkin
1 small handful fresh pumpkin seeds
16-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste


In a glass baking dish, roast pumpkins at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour, or until soft. You may also roast the pumpkin seeds at the same time, then set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine roasted pumpkin, chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, and olive oil. Process until smooth, then add sugar and salt. Adjust saltiness to your taste.

Dish out into serving bowl, drizzle with additional olive oil, and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with pita chips or raw vegetables like baby carrots or cherry tomatoes.


Photography by philosophygeek




4 small cucumbers (1 lb total)
1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup pine nuts (1 oz)
1 (6-oz) piece Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano
Garnish: 4 fresh mint sprigs


Cut cucumber diagonally into paper-thin slices with slicer. Arrange slices, overlapping slightly, in 1 layer on serving plate.

Make stacks of mint leaves and cut crosswise into very thin slivers, then sprinkle over cucumbers.

Whisk together oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, then drizzle over cucumbers. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper to taste, and pine nuts. Let stand 10 minutes to soften cucumbers and allow flavors to develop.

Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave cheese to taste over cucumbers, then sprinkle with mint.


Photography by Kim Marius Flakstad

How to Serve a Truffle


Here’s my favorite recipe: Slice one truffle. Put it on thickly buttered country bread. Warm gently in the oven, sprinkle with rock salt and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!


Photo credits: VirtualErn (cc)