This classic southern Italian dish really benefits from the use of canned cherry tomatoes.
- 250 ml extra-virgin olive oil (1 cup)
- 1 large eggplant, halved and thickly sliced
- 1 kg baby octopus, cleaned and halved lengthways
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried savory leaves (see note)
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 800 gm canned cherry tomatoes (see note)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 160 gm green olives (1 cup)
- 500 gm dried macaroni
- 1Heat ½ cup oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add eggplant and cook, turning once, for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to become golden. Drain eggplant on absorbent paper and transfer to a bowl.
- 2Heat remaining oil in a heavy-based casserole or saucepan over medium heat, add octopus and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, savory, chilli flakes and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar and eggplant. Stir to combine, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and octopus is tender. Add green olives and cook for another 10 minutes.
- 3Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain. Toss pasta through sauce and serve immediately.
Note Dried savory is a herb, available from Herbie's Spices. Canned cherry tomatoes are available from select supermarkets and delicatessens.