About this recipe:Octopus is an incomparable treat. I love it on the barbecue, in a salad or in tomato sauce. For many, cooking octopus may seem daunting - but I assure you, it couldn't be easier. Serve this dish with chips or with rice.
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr
Cut the octopus into smallish pieces (about the size of your thumb). Take care to cut the small 'mouth' out of the very middle of the octopus, at the base of its head - you'll recognise it by its dark colour and tough feel.
Add the octopus pieces to a large saucepan and place covered over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, slice the onions into thin wedges and set aside.
After about 10 minutes, uncover the pan; you'll notice the octopus will have started to release its juices. (This is exactly what you want! Never add water; you want the octopus to cook in its own juices for best flavour.) Now that the juices are released, let the octopus to continue to simmer uncovered over medium-high heat for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, or until nearly all of the liquid has evaporated.
Once nearly all the liquid has evaporated (with just about 3 or 4 tablespoons left), add the olive oil, onions and bay leaves. Continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft.
Add the passata, salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes (uncover for the last 10 minutes if not enough water is evaporating from the sauce). Once the octopus is tender, the sauce has thickened and the oil has risen to the surface of the sauce, remove from heat.
Serve with chips (hand-cut chips shallow fried in olive oil are best), pasta or steamed rice.