Polenta and octopus is a classic dish that you will find on menus all over the Veneto region of Italy. This dish is tasty at any time but its heartiness shines in the winter. Be sure to balance it with a fine glass of wine.
Polenta & Octopus Ingredients (octopus portion of the recipe)
- Octopus (approximately 3-4 pounds)
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 garlic cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Chopped parsley, to serve
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the bay leaf. Boil the octopus for approximately 40 minutes. The exact cooking time will be dependent on the size of your octopus. To test for doneness, stick a fork into the thickest part of the leg. The fork should go through the leg without any resistance. After the octopus is cooked, put it on a prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Polenta & Octopus Ingredients (polenta portion of the recipe)
- Cups water
- 1 cup coarse cornmeal
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Put water in a large saucepan and heat on high. Gradually add the cornmeal to the water and stir. Cook on high, stirring frequently. When the polenta is thickened, lower the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Be careful that the polenta does not stick to the bottom of the pan. You will need to stir it frequently.
When the polenta is done, season it generously with salt. Add the butter and stir to combine. If the polenta is too dry, you can add more water. Mixing in more water is also helpful when needing to break up any lumps.
On a serving platter, place the polenta and then top it with the octopus. Sprinkle topped parsley on top for added flavor and color. Serve immediately.
This comfort dish
is filling and warm, making it the perfect meal for any cold winter night. Add some bread and a quality bottle of wine
and you have the perfect Veneto meal.Wine Pairing: Rosato