Octopus “Luciana Style”, in Pressure Cooker – Polpo alla Luciana, in Pentola a Pressione


Here it is a new recipe with octopus after the previous ones I have already posted: Tiella di Gaeta, Polpo Ubriaco, Galician Style Octopus.

This time is a recipe typical of the cuisine of Campania region, more precisely its name comes from the fishermen of the old Neapolitan sea hamlet called Santa Lucia (where there is Castel dell’Ovo), that were called “luciani”, and it has a very old history.

It’s very simple, and made with classic ingredients of the Italian cuisine, and in this case by using a pressure cooker the time is much shorter than with a normal pot, but obviously you can do it in both ways (traditionally in earthenware pots). But the octopus is really one of the few things that in my opinion have a much better result with this kind of pot, you can’t go wrong.

As I said, few typical ingredients, and no water it’s needed, because according to the old recipes of those fishermen “o purp’ s’adda cocer’ rint’ all’acqua soja” (that in the local dialect means “the octopus has to cook into its own water”).


INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 1,2-1,5 kg octopus
  • 400 g canned tomato (I used “pelati” San Marzano)
  • 300-400 g fresh tomatoes, small
  • 1 tablespoon of capers, better if salt cured
  • a handful of olives (I used taggiasche olives, traditionally olives of Gaeta are used, or black olives)
  • 1 glass of wine, white or red it’s up to you (optional, the older recipes don’t have it usually, but it fits well)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • chili (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. Take the pressure cooker and heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, with garlic and the stems of the parsley. When the garlic gets some color remove it, also the stems of parsley.
  2. Take the octopus and place it in the pot with the head on the bottom, keep it in the hot oil about 10 seconds and lift it, do it 3-4 times to curl a bit the tentacles, then leave it inside and if you want add the wine, keep the heat high until reduced (but if you don’t want wine you can skip it).polpo_luciana_5
  3. Add the olives, the capers, the chili and the tomato, close the pressure cooker and keep the heat high until you reach the correct pressure (3-4 minutes about), then from this moment set the heat lower and count 15-17 minutes for an octopus of this size.
  4. After this time, release the steam and let the octopus rest into the sauce for at least 30 minutes. Then take it out and if needed reduce the sauce until thicker (the octopus releases a lot of water).
  5. Then slice the octopus as you prefer, serve it with its sauce and freshly chopped parsley, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. And good bread to pick the sauce 🙂
  6. Enjoy 🙂

PS: if it remains you can always prepare a delicious pasta, for example some good Paccheri.




Or with a good pasta:




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