Slow Braised Octopus and Rigatoni

By Sally James
A warming comfort dish of slow braised octopus in white wine and tomatoes with a vibrant and fresh sprinkle of parsley – a typical coastal Italian village dish.
  • Course: Entrée


  • baby octopus
  • balsamic vinegar
  • Bay Leaf
  • chopped black olives
  • Cooked rigatoni or preferred pasta
  • Dry White Wine
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • garlic
  • roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • small White onion
  • thyme or oregano
  • tomato paste
  • tomatoes


  1. Pat octopus dry with paper towels. Heat olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for a minute then stir in octopus, and cook for a few minutes until it turns opaque.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes or until aromatic, then add the wine and bring to the boil, stirring well.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olives, thyme, bay, salt and pepper and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour or until tentacles are very tender. Check during cooking that mixture doesn’t become dry if heat is too high. Add more wine or water if so.
  4. Remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs and serve spooned over rigatoni and sprinkle with parsley.