In Greek: χταπόδι μακαρονάδα, pronounced khtah-POH-thee mah-kah-roh-NAH-thah
A favorite in fishing villages throughout Greece and the islands, this dish can be made with fresh or frozen (defrosted) octopus. Ditalini (“little thimble”) is the traditional pasta used.
- 2 pounds of fresh or frozen octopus
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 1 pound of ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped (with juice)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 cup of dry red wine
- 1 cup of water
- 1 pound of ditalini pasta
Wash the octopus in cold water and (if present) remove the hard center. Place in a saucepan with cold water and boil for 15 minutes. When it can be handled, cut into 1-inch pieces.
In a large frying pan or saucepan, sauté the onion in hot oil. When the onion softens, add the octopus and cook for 3 minutes. Dissolve the tomato paste in the wine and add, cooking over high heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, 1 cup of water, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir well, cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour.
The sauce should be thick. If more water is needed during cooking, add boiling water 1/4 cup at a time.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. In a large serving bowl, toss pasta with the sauce and serve.
Yield: serves 4-5