Sunday, June 17, 2007

June 17th

baby octopus stew

The whole thing started for three reasons; leftover marinara in a jar. A craving for baby octopus just because they look so cool. And an appetizer I ate about six years ago in Boston's North End in a little place called Limoncello.
(The appetizer was just a few of the cephalapods stewed in a tomato broth with garbanzo beans, pretty minimal actually, but somehow unforgettable.) So here's what these three things created yesterday:
I put some olive oil in a hot pan with some garlic and onion. When that smelled perfumey, I tossed in the marinara, let that hiss for a sec, poured in some white wine from the fridge, a little of the strangely rose colored octopus boiling water. (I had boiled them for about 40 minutes with a wine cork floating in the water to tenderize 'em) Added a few chunks of potato I had sneaked into the boil, half a can of cannelini beans from a can with some of their oozy liquid.
I Let it simmer. Put in six or seven of the majestic but tiny eight legged wonders (with their legs curled up in the coolest way, their grape shaped heads cocked back, devil may care).
Simmered. Seasoned with pepper, red pepper flake, some sea salt my son had mashed up with oregano, a stray fennel frond I found at the bottom of the drawer.
I ate it right out the pan, a la Calamari's (also Boston, also North End, Hanover street. No plates used there, only shining 9 inch all-clads)
Oh I Forgot- squirted olive oil over it at the end. It was SLAMMIN! The octopus were not chewy at all, just sweeet little pieces of sea candy. You gotta do this. The octopus probably cost me three dollars. Try eating it out of the pan too. Go outside if there is any sun .
Enjoy. (I ate it alone too. i gotta confess, Cooking for yourself rules! )

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