Wednesday, 14 March 2012
Baked octopus and potatoes
A long time ago, and I do mean a loooong time ago, octopuses had only one leg. In fact, they were called monopuses. Also, they lived on land and were furry, had whiskers and purred like cats. Many believe that they were actually the true ancestors of the feline race, and proof has survived in the suffix of their name. Be that as it may, monopuses were quite clumsy. They had difficulty reaching higher, thus safer grounds; their mouths were too round to bite another animal; and their eyes were weirdly enough placed at the sides of their heads so that they constantly bumped into stones and rose bushes whenever they managed to gather enough strength to lift their one suction-cup-studded leg off the ground and hop away. Also, the lack of skeleton didn't help. However, because they so often bumped their mono-heads one stone and lost stone flip-flops on the beach, they developed a fierce intelligence. And so it was that the first Monopus-Council was called. Naturally, it was attended by monopuses of several generations later, since the journey was a long one and monopuses didn't have a long life expectancy (mainly due to their inaptitude at life).
One day, however, every monopus in the world had gathered on a beach. And this is in summary what they said: "Evolution hath made a mistake. It hath been most unfair. We therefore must compound a letter and sent it onto her, for thus our lives may not continue. Godammit."
And so it was that Evolution, that old prankster, got the letter, read it, and decided to act upon it. A few days later, the monopuses woke up with eight legs instead of one and no fur. Yet their mouths were still wrong and their eyes weird. Their superior intelligence however told them that their new habitat was to be the sea, and so they set out towards the water, hoping in a better future and a more dignified life. Most of them drowned (they hadn't taken into account their lack of a breathing apparatus). And those who didn't were picked up by primitive men, thrown on primitive stone tablets along with primitive potatoes and shoved into primitive ovens that still burned with primitive volcano fire.
This particular recipe was found on a primitive stone tablet, and is believed by not that many scientists, actually, to be the first ever recipe. In fact, it is a prehistoric recipe, since before this story, it didn't even exist. Enjoy.
Baked octopus with potatoes Recipe adapted from Vefa's Kitchen
- one octopus, medium-large size
- 6-7 potatoes, medium-small (more or less same quantity of octopus and potatoes)
- 10 date tomatoes
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/4 glass of white wine
Clean and cut the octopus in 4-5 cm long pieces. Peel the potatoes and cut them in wedges (8 wedges per potato). Cut the tomatoes in slices. Heat some oil in a pan, add the halved garlic cloves and let them fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes and quickly cook for 4-5 minutes, season and add the oregano. Set aside. Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Arrange the octopus and potatoes in a baking tray, and pour the wine and the tomatoes with their juices on top. Add also a little water to keep the octopus moist. Bake it for 45min-1hour, until the octopus and the potatoes are soft and the liquids reduced.
Note: While baking, check the octopus from time to time and, if necessary, add some water to keep it moist. When the octopus is almost ready, do not add other liquids and let the juices reduce.
Polipo e patate al forno Ricetta adattata da Vefa's Kitchen
- un polipo medio grande
- 6-7 patate medio piccole (ok, si sara' capito che per questo tipo di ricette io non peso gli ingredienti, comunque visivamente tante patate quanto polipo)
- una decina di pomodorini datterini
- olio evo
- 2 spicchi d'aglio
- un quarto di bicchiere di vino bianco
Pulire il polipo e tagliarlo a pezzi lunghi 4-5 cm. Pelare le patate e tagliarle a spicchi (8 spicchi per patata). Tagliare i pomodorini a fettine. A parte scaldare un po' di olio in un pentolino, aggiungere gli spicchi d'aglio sbucciati e tagliati a meta' e quando l'olio si sara' insaporito aggiungere i pomodorini. Lasciar insaporire per 3/4 minuti, salare e aggiungere l'origano. Scaldare il forno a 180 C.
In una teglia, disporre il polipo e le patate, salare, dare un giro d'olio e mescolare bene. Versare i pomodorini appassiti con il loro sughetto sopra. Aggiungere il vino e un fondo d'acqua. Infornare e cuocere per 45min/ 1ora, finche' sia il polipo che le patate saranno morbidi e i liquidi asciugati.
Note: Controllare durante la cottura che il polipo sia sempre bagnato, altrimenti secchera', mescolare di tanto in tanto e aggiungere un po' d'acqua se necessario. Quando il polipo e' quasi cotto, non aggiungere piu' liquidi in modo da far restringere il sughetto.