Octopus Ragu – Ragù di Polpo


Octopus again 🙂 I have already shared several recipes with it, as I already said it’s one of my favorite ingredients and I really love it in every way.

This recipe it’s not difficult, it just requires some time and constant attention. And for me this is one of the very best pasta recipes I ever ate, it’s really an amazing dish!

Let’s see.


INGREDIENTS (4 people):

  • 1,0-1,2 kg octopus
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 rib of celery
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 150-200 ml tomato sauce (no more, the recipe must taste octopus)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • chili (at your taste)
  • 4-5 fresh sage leaves
  • 1-2 fresh bay leaves
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • lemon zest, untreated (optional)
  • extra virgin olive oil


  1. First of all I suggest to freeze the octopus first, to make it more tender. Once you have correctly defrosted it (and you have removed the beak and the eyes, if it was not already cleaned), cut each tentacle, remove the thicker parts of membrane between the tentacles, and remove the skin from the head. Then cut the head into pieces of a couple of centimeters, and the same for the tentacles: start cutting the thicker part with just one line of suckers, then where it’s thinner you can cut two lines of suckers.octopus_ragu_1
  2. Take a pan and heat a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil, with a clove of garlic and the fresh sage leaves. When the garlic gets some color, remove it and the sage too, then add the octopus and let it cook at medium/high heat. In this moment it will release a lot of water, just let it cook until all its water will reduce completely, it will take about 30 minutes and after this time the octopus will have a nice red color and will look like glazed, like in the photo below:octopus_ragu_2
  3. After this time, it’s the moment to add the red wine. Keep the heat high until reduced, and add also the tomato paste, stir to dilute it.
  4. When the wine has reduced, add the carrot, onion and celery cut into small pieces (I add them only now because in this way they will keep a better texture), add the tomato sauce, the chili, the bay leaves and 1-2 ladles of hot water. From this moment set the heat on medium/low and let it simmer until the octopus will be soft.octopus_ragu_3
  5. To my taste I let it simmer for other 45-50 minutes, so all together the octopus cooked for about 1 hour and 15-20 minutes. If needed, during this time keep adding some hot water (but never too much) so keep an eye on it. This is the correct texture to reach:octopus_ragu_4
  6. The octopus for me was already salty enough, so I didn’t add any salt, but control according to your taste.
  7. When the ragu is almost ready, add the freshly chopped parsley to the ragu and start boiling the pasta. I suggest paccheri, mezzi paccheri, rigatoni, tortiglioni, but also spaghetti might be fine.
  8. 1-2 minutes before the pasta is cooked “al dente”, drain it and pour it in the ragu, and finish to cook it there. Add 1-2 ladles of its boiling water.
  9. Serve it, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, some more parsley, and if you would like also some freshly grated lemon zest (it adds nice freshness to the dish). It’s an incredibly perfumed recipe…Enjoy! 🙂

PS: if it remains, the sauce it’s perfect also on the following day, even better maybe 🙂 store it in the fridge, hermetically closed.




2 Comments Add yours

  1. Rowena says:

    Stunning and certainly a very delicious dish. I especially like the type of pasta you used. Paccheri, yes?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mezzi paccheri rigati, to be precise 🙂 thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s