Htapodi (octopus) is one of the most delicious Greek seafood dishes. This dish is cooked in a tomato sauce and then in the sauce we cook the pasta.
In Greek, htapodi is octopus and makaronaki kofto is a small pasta, such as ditali pasta.
You can use either fresh or frozen octopus. If you cook it during summer, use fresh tomatoes, but if you cook it during winter, you can use passata or tinned tomatoes.
Apart from ditali pasta, you can also use orzo or small hylopites.
It is a Lenten recipe, so during Lent no cheese is added on top. However, it is usually served with some myzithra on top.
It’s one of the most favourite and filling dishes during Lent. Although rosemary is not added to the traditional recipe, I love adding some fresh rosemary.
The fresh rosemary will melt in your mouth so do not add dried rosemary as it’s not the same .
In Greece there are many types of octopuses. A cheaper species is called in Greek Moschios (plural moschioi). They are very cheap compared with the common octopus but costs three times less.
You know the difference because they are smaller in size and have only one set of suction cups.
They can be cooked the same way and taste just as delicious.
How to clean the octopus
In the middle of the tentacles there is a beak (mouth) and above the tentacles is a sac which includes the ink sac, stomach entrails and the remaining organs.
Cut the head off, above the eyes and the tentacles below the eyes.
Discard the part under the sac and above the tentacles.
After cutting the head, empty the sac. This is where all the organs are.
Then turn it inside out and pull away anything that is inside, trying not to break the ink sac.
Wash inside well, then turn it over again.
If the octopus is big, you can also remove the skin from the head, by just pulling it.
Remove the beak by cutting it round the tentacles. Discard the beak.
Rinse the octopus and let it drain.
Note: Frozen octopuses are cleaned from the entrails, so the only thing you need to do do is remove the beak and the lower part of the sac.
- Small octopuses or a bigger one (about 1 kilo) fresh or frozen
- 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 3-4 ripe fresh tomatoes or 1 can (500 grams) of tomatoes with juice
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Salt (optional) and freshly ground blackpepper
- 1 cup of red dry wine
- 2 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
- 850 ml (31/2 cups) water
- 1 packet of ditali pasta (500 grams)
- The octopus must be very carefully washed and dried, and the beak removed. See how to clean octopus an octopus here.
- Put the saucepan on the heat until it is hot and add the octopus. Mix until it sweats out a pinkish liquid. Keep an eye on it mixing every now and then and cook it in its juices until that liquid has evaporated.
- Remove the octopus and cut it into smaller pieces about 3 or 4 cm. long.
- Add oil to the pan as well as the onion and garlic and saute until translucent scraping the pot to clean what's left from the octopus.
- Add wine and stir until alcohol evaporates.
- Meantime, blend tomatoes in a food processor together with the tomato paste and add to the octopus, as well as pepper, bay leaves and rosemary and 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove bay leaves after ten minutes of cooking.
- When the octopus is cooked, add more water and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta in the sauce stirring from time to time, taste and add salt, if necessary. (I do not add any salt).
- Serve with Greek feta cheese.
- Second way to cook it is after the cooking procedure, preheat oven at 180 degrees C, transfer octopus with sauce into a Pyrex or baking pan and add some hot water and cook pasta in the oven for about 20 minutes, mixing a couple of times.
- Grate myzithra cheese on top.
- For a Lenten dish, do not add the cheese.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 100mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 7g
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,