1½kg octopus
150ml extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large chilli, cut in 5 pieces
150g pitted black olives
1½ tablespoon capers, rinsed, drained
250ml white wine
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leafed parsley
polenta (see recipe), to serve
POLENTA serves 8 / preparation 10 mins / cook 45 mins
2 teaspoons salt
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
330g white polenta flour

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1.Clean the octopus, discarding the inside of the head and cutting off the eyes and the mouth.
2.Heat the oil in a large pot with the garlic and chilli and cook on medium until the garlic is golden.
3.Increase the heat to high, and dunk the octopus in and out of the pot 4-6 times until the tentacles start to curl.
4.Then put the octopus in the pot then add the olives, capers and wine.
5.Bring to the boil, add the cherry tomatoes and bay leaves and season lightly (the octopus is naturally salty, as are the capers and olives).
6.Cover and cook for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
7.Add half the parsley. Leave the octopus to rest in the sauce for 30 minutes with lid on before serving – this will help to get the octopus very tender.
8.Cut the octopus into a few pieces and reheat if it is cold.
9.Serve on a large plate with polenta and the rest of the parsley, adding more pepper if desired.
11.Bring 1½ litres water to the boil in a large pot on high heat.
12.Add the salt and oil and gradually whisk in polenta until well combined.
13.Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 45 minutes until the polenta is very smooth.
14.If you are short of time, use instant polenta which will take only a few minutes to cook and give very similar results.

Recipes & food styling Sergio Maglione / Photography Manja Wachsmuth