Octopus in Tomato Sauce Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Octopus in Tomato Sauce Recipe
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Octopus in Tomato Sauce

Recipe by  

"Enjoy this traditional recipe from Malta which makes a very flavorful sauce for octopus with potatoes, tomatoes, red wine and a hint of citrus that can be served over spaghetti, or just on its own. "

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    1 hr

    1 hr 30 mins


  1. Place the octopus into a large pot and fill with enough lightly salted water to cover. Bring to a boil, and then simmer over medium heat until octopus is opaque, about 15 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly; cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, mint leaves, curry powder and mixed spice; cook and stir until onion is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in the octopus pieces, wine, lemon zest and orange zest. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to blend the flavors, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, peas, potatoes, olives and bay leaves. Cover and simmer over low heat until potatoes and octopus are tender, about 45 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jul 21, 2008

I was happy to find this recipe because I already had almost everything needed. The only things I had to change were to use some lime zest instead of lemon, frozen peas instead of canned, and omit the black olives. I also added some crushed red pepper and cayenne pepper for spice! I used twelve baby octopi and scaled this for two servings but it still made a lot, enough for a lunch tomorrow. I served it with whole wheat angel hair pasta. It was very delicious! My boyfriend was impressed with how tender the octopus was. Thanks!

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 26, 2010

While, it's true that baby octopus cooked this way comes out fairly tender and not too fishy, this recipe, is to say the least, an injustice to such a food. I followed the recipe exactly as stated, and ended up with an overcooked, tomato soupy mess. The peas should not be added so early in the cooking process, as they turn to mush. The potato was completely pointless, and didn't compliment any flavors or textures. I looked up "mixed spice" on wikipedia, and was told it consisted of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. That combined with mint, citrus zest, and curry powder, made a confused and over spiced palette that did not compliment the octopus. There are simply too many things going on and getting cooked for too long, for this to be anything near an acceptable food. It wasn't horrible, but it sure wasn't worth an 1hr 30min. Don't spend time cleaning any octopus to make this meal!


7 Ratings

Nov 10, 2009

My husband and I REALLY liked this dish! I changed the recipe to make it with what I had on hand and with slightly less fat/calories. I omitted peas, potatoes, and olives and used basalmic instead of the wine. It was such a great flavorful supper! I have added it to my recipe book for sure!

Jun 11, 2009

We made this recipe work, but the instructions were confusing at best. For example, what exactly is "mixed spice"? Sugar is listed in the ingredients but is not to be found in the directions. Still, a good starting point for a great dish. It has a wonderfully complex flavor and we will be making it again. We used paprika, cumin, smoked salt, and smoked pepper flakes in the spice mix, and substituted beef base, sherry vinegar, and a little water for the wine since we live in an alcohol-free household. We zested one whole lemon and a whole orange and didn't use curry powder. We added the sugar in the saute step. The octopus came out with a beautiful texture, which always worries me because I have had some extraordinarily bad octopus. Our kitchen smelled like the briny deep while it was cooking. I was concerned about potatoes in a dish meant to be served over pasta, but it turned out just fine. Fettucine tossed with olive oil was the perfect substrate, then all we needed was a houseguest to torture. "Hey, look, you can see the little suckers on the tentacles..."

Mar 03, 2009

I skipped on the tomato paste and made lentils my starch. Also tossed in some collard greens for even more veggies. Awesome dish!

Jun 01, 2009

This was really tasty, I would definitely make it again, but maybe cut out the citrus, as I wasnt keen on that coming through

Sep 16, 2010

Excellent! And I don't normally like octopus... I used a pre-packaged greek seasoning mix as my mixed spice and slightly more of the juice from the can of tomato because it was burning to the pan, and I will be doing this again -- even my 2 year old loved it!


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  • Calories
  • 499 kcal
  • 25%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 44 g
  • 14%
  • Cholesterol
  • 128 mg
  • 43%
  • Fat
  • 11.5 g
  • 18%
  • Fiber
  • 6.4 g
  • 26%
  • Protein
  • 45 g
  • 90%
  • Sodium
  • 1095 mg
  • 44%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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