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.