This is part 2 of this week’s cephalopod-inspired Reneelicious Recipes. She bought 1 kilo of fresh baby octopuses from S&R last week, the first half of which went into the fiery Korean Nakji Bokkeum dish that I posted yesterday.
With the remaining half, she drew her inspiration from the Mediterranean to create this lovely tomato-based stew of baby octopuses. A hearty and comforting dish, I suggest enjoying it with Ren’s Homaemade Focaccia as it’s the perfect way of soaking up all those rich delicious flavors.
Well, hello there…
- 1/2 kilo octopus, cleaned
- 2 Tbsps olive oil
- 1 small stalk celery diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 3/4 cup Red Horse beer or white wine
- 1 (400g) whole peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed with hand
- 1/3 cup chopped roasted red peppers (optional)
- 1/2 Tbsp pimenton/smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper
- 3 small potatoes, quartered
- Olive oil, to finish
- Basil and/or coriander, parsley leaves to serve
- In medium skillet, heat oil over medium high and add celery, onions and garlic. Saute until translucent and just starting to brown around edges.
- Pour beer (or wine) and let reduce to a third. Add tomatoes and boil for about 5 minutes. Add octopus, bell pepper, paprika, bay leaf and salt and cook for a few minutes more. Turn down heat to medium-low, partially cover with lid, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add potatoes and stir to combine. Partially cover and simmer for about 30 minutes while stirring often until potatoes and octopuses are tender and sauce thickens.
- Season with freshly ground pepper and adjust seasoning to taste. To finish, drizzle olive oil and sprinkle with herb(s) of choice. Serve with crusty bread.
DID YOU KNOW?
That octopuses are highly intelligent animals showing evidence of a memory system that can store both short and long-term memory?
Though the exact extent of their intelligence and learning capability is still unknown, they have shown in laboratory experiments the ability to distinguish between different shapes and patterns and have been reported to practice observational learning as well.
The octopus is also the only invertebrate which has been observed to use tools, with at least four specimens of the Veined Octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) having been witnessed retrieving discarded coconut shells, manipulating then reassembling them to use as shelters.