Friday, April 1, 2016

Insalata con Polpi in Umido e Patate for #ItalianFWT

This month the Italian Food, Wine & Travel - #ItalianFWT - blogging group is traveling to Puglia. Follow along the journey with my fellow #ItalianFWT bloggers.  You can also chat with us live this Saturday morning at 11am EST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.  Hope to see you there!

To Puglia


Puglia, a region in southern Italy, forms the heel of the Italian boot. It's known for its sunny weather and hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline. I was always intrigued by the trulli of Alberobello and the surrounding Itria Valley but I never made it to that part of Italy. Just one more reason to go back.

The Other #ItalianFWT Offerings... 
Join us live on Twitter Saturday April 2nd at 11am EST @ #ItalianFWT to chat about Puglia. Here's more from my fellow bloggers:

In My Empty Glass...

Okay, so my bottle of Pugliese wine didn't make it into the car on our way up to Tahoe for Spring break. Boo. So, I'll blog about that another time. But, we are having a great time up here.

On the Plate...
Much of Italy's everyday meals are deeply rooted in the cucina povera tradition. While it literally means 'poor kitchen' it's more about a philosophy of relying on simple, fresh, and local foods. In a nod to Puglia's vast farmland and coastline, I decided to go with a dish that featured both produce and seafood.

Insalata con Polpi in Umido e Patate
Salad with Stewed Octopus and Potatoes

  • 2 pounds baby octopus, cleaned
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 jar marinated baby artichokes including marinade
  • 1 C red wine
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • baby or fingerling potatoes
  • salad greens
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • juice from 1 organic lemon

In a large pan, cook the fennel bulb and onion in a splash of olive oil until softened and beginning to turn translucent. Add in the octopus and artichokes plus marinade. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Let braise for 1 hour. If it gets too dry add in a splash of wine.

After an hour, pour in the red wine and bring everything back to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Let braise while you roast the potatoes. If there is still some liquid in the octopus at the end of the hour, raise the heat to reduce the sauce.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the fingerling potatoes into quarters lengthwise. Lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle them with olive oil. Place them in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through and crispy on the outside. Just before serving, spoon the roasted potatoes into the braised octopus. Toss to coat.

To serve, lay salad greens on your serving plates. Spoon the octopus-potato mixture on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.


  1. I'm so impressed you convinced your "boys" to eat octopus, fennel & artichokes. They're not exactly everyday flavors here in the states!

  2. I love grilled octopus, but have never made it. You always provide great recipes and combine interesting ingredients!

  3. yes, I agree with Jeff it's impressive what you get your kids to eat!

  4. It looks like you're enjoying your vacation and look forward to tour puglian wine. Love your experimenting with your kids.