Ingredients for 4 people:1 octopus (approx. 600-800 g)600-800 g potatoes (the same weight as the octopus)1½ untreated lemons1 bay leaf1 jar Carciofini Trifolati (135 g, or more if you prefer more flavour) 1 sprig of parsley3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper pepper
First of all, a secret: to tenderise the octopus, it should be frozen at least overnight. It’s an animal made up of 80% water and freezing causes it to swell so that the fibres break down and the flesh, when thawed, becomes more tender. Heat plenty of water in 2 saucepans; one is for the potatoes and the other, large one is for the octopus. When the water comes to the boil, put the potatoes (washed but not peeled) into the smaller saucepan with a pinch of salt, and put the bay leaves and a lemon (cut into 8 wedges) in the larger one. Now “dunk” the octopus tentacles in the boiling water 2 or 3 times, then put the whole octopus in and add a pinch of salt; cook it over a low heat for roughly 20-25 minutes (calculate 20 minutes per half kg of octopus). Turn off the heat and let the octopus cool down in its water. When the potatoes are cooked (just right!), strain them, wait until they cool down enough, and then peel them and cut them into large cubes. When the octopus has cooled, strain it and cut into pieces. Put the pieces of potato and octopus, still warm, on a serving dish and add the contents of a jar (or 2) of Carciofini Trifolati. Dress with the juice of ½ a lemon, give everything a good stir and taste it; if you think they’re necessary, add some olive oil, salt and a “dash” of pepper. Mix everything carefully and leave the dish, covered, for 10-15 minutes so the flavours mingle. Chop the parsley (washed and patted dry) and sprinkle it over the octopus – still lukewarm – just before taking it to the table to serve.