Orecchiette al ragu di polpo

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No mood for cooking, summer came at us like a hammer to the head. One day it was almost chilly and then bam, 90 degree weather. I love summer and I love the heat, especially because it is like a dry oven here in Puglia, but I like to gradually ease my way into summer with a little spring, mild days in June, not morphing from April to mid-July over night. We’re running the dish washer less frequently these days because mama just doesn’t feel like turning on the burners and making dinner. We are all suffering, I need some inspiration and fast.

A ragù is not the most weather appropriate food, but we tried this at a wonderful restaurant in Brindisi a few weeks ago and I had to try to make it at home. Mine did not come out with the same velvety deliciousness, which just means that I will have to try try again. I think that the cooking time from the recipe is too short, my feeling is that it probably needs to cook, in a larger quantity, for a few hours, like a traditional Neapolitan ragù, in order to tenderize the octopus a little bit more.

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Orecchiette al ragu di polpo

translated from Giallo Zafferano

  • 400 grams fresh orecchiette
  • 600 grams octopus, cleaned
  • 300 grams tomato sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 chili pepper
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • a few basil leaves
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Rinse the octopus and cut the tentacles into small disks.

Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add whole cloves of garlic and the chili pepper, removing the seeds if you don’t want the heat. When the garlic starts to simmer, add octopus, stir to absorb the oil and when the liquid that the octopus releases starts to evaporate add the white wine.

Once the wine the wine has evaporated add the thinly sliced celery and cook for a few minutes, add the tomato sauce at this point and continue cooking at a medium-low temperature for about 20 minutes. The cooking time depends on the size of the octopus, if the tentacles are very thick, it may need more time.

In the meantime, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Toss with chopped basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, serve immediately.

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One Year Ago: Torta di Riso & Sarago in Cartoccio

Two Years Ago: Beet and Beet Green Gratin & Tagliatelle with Rhubarb

Three Years Ago: Pasta alla Norma Asparagus Panzanella

Four Years Ago: Morningside Farmers Market, Cheese SoufflèBaby Artichokes and Scallops Risotto & Couscous Salad with Yellow Zucchini

~ by italicious on June 23, 2013.

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