Polipetti affogati – Neapolitan octopus and tomato stew

  • Antipasto
  • 8
  • 1 hour 40 minutes
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A fine example of simple yet delicious Neapolitan cooking, this polipetti affogati recipe, meaning 'drowned octopus' in English, gets its name from the process of 'drowning' the octopi in tomato sauce. This seafood stew is fit for a feast, either eaten as antipasto accompanied by slices of toast or used to dress pasta for a more substantial main course.

First published in 2019




Polipetti affogati


Add the oil to a large pan with the garlic and place over a medium-high heat. Once starting to sizzle, add the baby octopuses and generously season with salt. Cook with a lid on, occasionally turning the octopuses so they sear on all sides
After about 10 minutes, the octopuses will have curled up and released their juices. Add the wine, allow to reduce by half, then add the tomatoes and chilli flakes. Stir, replace the lid and leave to simmer for around 90 minutes, or until the meat is tender – this might vary depending on the size of the octopuses. Stir every 30 minutes to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan
Serve with chopped fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice

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