Octopus Linguine

We’re back this week, looking at the underused and under-appreciated. Having looked at squid a while ago, we thought it only fair to also extol the virtues of octopus as a food.

You will need:
1 octopus
1 fennel bulb
1 lemon
3-4 garlic cloves
8-10 bayleaves
Small handful of green peppercorns
To serve:
Linguine (enough for 2)
1 small red onion
5 anchovies, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
Drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
Large glass of red wine (250ml)
Handful of capers
Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped

Serves 2

Clean and de-beak your octopus
Bring a pan of water to a boil with the aromatics
Dip the limbs into the water 3 times, then drop it into the water and leave to simmer for 45-90 minutes
Check with a small knife
Remove from the water and wait until it’s cool enough to handle
Chop off the mantle and remove anything left in the cavity
Then line up the limbs and chop into small, circular chunks, no more than a centimetre thick
Get a wok or large pan ready on a high heat, with a glug of oil
Add the onions first, then the anchovies, both finely chopped, plus a pinch of salt
Allow them to colour for a minute or so, then throw in the tomatoes
About 30 seconds later add the garlic and the octopus, stir together
Add a drizzle of traditional aged balsamic vinegar, honey and red wine
Simmer gently and let the liquid reduce, boiling your linguine in the meantime
Once the liquid in the pan has reduced by about two thirds, add a handful of capers
Then throw in the pasta and mix it in and combine
Finally, throw in a generous handful of chopped parsley and serve immediately.