The Gourmet Headhunter

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BABY OCTOPUS in red sauce

baby-octopus.jpgFirst, don’t believe all the stories about octopus being tough and needing special treatment. This recipe creates a very tender, tantalizing taste. I rarely cook it the same way twice, it’s a good recipe to experiment with – add your own fish, herbs and spices to your liking.

Buy frozen baby octopus in supermarkets (Winco, QFC. Fresh is better of course, but I bought frozen last weekend and it cooked just fine.

For this recipe you will need:

  • One large boiler or large saucepan (pot) capable of holding all of the ingredients
  • Allow 1/2 lb of baby octopus per person.
  • Fresh tomatoes or your favorite Red Pasta Sauce
  • Good quality Olive Oil
  • Leeks or onions to suit your tastes. I use 3 leeks.
  • Your favorite herbs and spices; basil, garlic, Italian spices to taste.
  • Chili to your level of taste
  • Two cloves of garlic per person – at least
  • Tomato Paste – 1 large can
  • White wine of course – don’t forget to keep some aside for the baby octopus recipe!
  • A good dash of brandy adds a blast.


If you don’t have fresh baby octopus you need to defrost the packaged frozen variety.

Cut the leeks which I cut rather thinly and then wash off the residual dirt. Gently sauté the leeks along with the garlic, chili, herbs and spices are of course gently sautéed in very good olive oil. I only use a hint of dried chili but that’s simply a personal preference. Fresh herbs would be better if available.

Meanwhile begin cutting up the baby octopus. First I remove the heads and cut in half and then halve the legs (tentacles) section.

Add the tomatoes or Red Pasta sauce to a medium sized pot

Add the sauté mixture

Add at least one cup of wine plus a dash of brandy, if it’s on hand.

Add ½ to 1 can of tomato paste to thicken to your desired consistency

Add the baby octopus

Simmer for 20 minutes

Five minutes or so before you’re finished, add a fillet of your favorite fish (Halibut, Cod, Mahi Mahi, Shrimp, Clams)

Stir at regular intervals and serve with good chunks of bread to dunk in the juices.


June 26, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Looks delicious! Great photo too 🙂

    Comment by swetherell | February 11, 2008 | Reply

  2. […] Gourmet Headhunter’s Baby Octopus in Red Sauce Cooking Diva’s Pulpo Asado (Grilled Baby Octopus) Over a Tuscan Stove’s Octopus […]

    Pingback by Tenderizing Octopus with Wine Corks « Foodista Blog | February 11, 2008 | Reply

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