This classic Greek pasta dish can be made with either large or baby octopus. Ditali is the pasta most commonly used for this dish, but you could substitute any small pasta.
- 70 ml olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 kg baby octopus, cleaned, heads reserved, tentacles halved
- 1/2 tsp each sweet paprika and ground chilli
- 200 ml dry red wine
- 400 gm canned cherry tomatoes
- 3 thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 350 gm dried ditali
- 1Preheat oven to 180C. Heat oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (8-10 minutes). Add octopus tentacles and heads, paprika and chilli and stir occasionally until octopus changes colour (2-3 minutes). Add wine, simmer until reduced by half (2-3 minutes), add tomato, thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon quill and 125ml hot water, then bring to the simmer. Cover with a lid and braise in oven until tender (1-1¼ hours).
- 2Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until half-cooked
(4-5 minutes), drain and reserve 150ml pasta water. Stir pasta and reserved pasta water through octopus, season to taste and serve hot, scattered with extra thyme.