MMM…. I love seafood! And never does it taste better to me, somehow, than during lent. I enjoyed this meal immensely the other day and thought I’d share it with you. It uses the type of tubular pasta called ‘kofto makaronaki’ in Greek. Its Italian name is ‘mezze maniche’, which, in my limited Italian, translates into ‘middle-sized sleeves’. No matter the name, I expect you’ll find it easily in your local supermarket if you look for short pasta tubes.
I have made this meal with both fresh and frozen octopus. For 2-3 people, 3-4 octopus legs of a size as shown in the photo would be more than enough. You can also cut up the legs in big chunks instead of serving them whole.
Fun fact: Octopus is a Greek word that literally means ‘Eight’ (Okto) ‘Leg’ (Pous)
INGREDIENTS (serves 2-3)
3-4 octopus legs
300gr of tubular pasta
1 large red onion (chopped or grated)
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 beef tomatoes (skinned and grated)
3-4 tablespoons of passata (tomato puree)
2 tumblers of hot water
8-10 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
3-4 ‘Bahari’ balls (aka pimento or allspice).
Heat olive oil in a pot and when hot, add the octopus legs and saute in high heat for about 1 minute.
Add onion and garlic and saute in medium heat. Careful the onion and garlic do not turn black.
Add tomato, passata, water, salt, pepper, bay leaf and bahari’ balls. When it starts boiling, cover and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hour until the octopus is tender.
Put in the pasta. Add hot water from the kettle, if needed, and stir well.
Bring to boil and leave uncovered to cook the pasta. Check occasionally in case more water is needed. Add seasoning as necessary.
It is best to remove the bay leaf and the ‘bahari’ balls before serving. Serve with a green salad and fresh bread.
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