Baby octopus with 'nduja dressing

"Spicy 'nduja and octopus are a great match," says Andreas Papadakis. "We make the 'nduja into a dressing for the perfect balance of spicy and salty; if you have any left over it's a great snack on grilled sourdough." Begin this recipe a day ahead to press the octopus.

You'll need

1 kg baby octopus (about 6) 250 ml (1 cup) olive oil Crusty bread, to serve (optional)   ’Nduja dressing 200 ml olive oil 125 gm ’nduja (see note) 2 tbsp sherry vinegar 8 anchovy fillets


  • 01
  • For ’nduja dressing, process all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • 02
  • Remove heads from octopus by cutting below the eyes and above the tentacles, then discard. Remove beak from centre of tentacles by pushing through from the cut side with your finger and discard, then wash and dry octopus well.
  • 03
  • Gently warm olive oil in a wide saucepan to 45°C, or lukewarm (2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat, add octopus and stand in the warm oil until opaque (6-8 minutes). Drain oil and discard. Place octopus on a flat tray, ensuring tentacles are resting flat. Place another flat tray on top, pressing to flatten, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Weigh down with food cans and refrigerate overnight.
  • 04
  • The next day, heat a char-grill pan or barbecue to high heat. Grill octopus, turning once, until charred and warmed through (1-2 minutes each side).
  • 05
  • To serve, spread ’nduja dressing on serving plates. Top with octopus and serve warm with crusty bread.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

’Nduja is a spreadable salami available from select butchers and Italian smallgoods producers – look for ’nduja with bright red colouring for the best result.

Drink Suggestion

2016 Tenuta Terre Nere “Etna Bianco”, Sicily. This wine, from the northern slopes of Mount Etna, is a blend of local varieties, the dominant grape being carricante. It’s a pure expression of terroir, with white flowers, scorched lemon, high acid and a salty-savoury palate reminiscent of a great Chablis.

Featured in

Oct 2017

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