Rigatoni with Octopus and Artichokes

P1330019 P1330023  P1330040 P1330028

Ever since our lunch at my husband’s cousin’s house, I have been an octopus enthusiast. I decided it was time to get over my intimidation and bought one the other day to experiment with. I have only made octopus one other time and that was 4 years ago. The one bad rep that octopus gets is that it can be tough, so in order to avoid a tough polipo, I cooked the hell out of it. I decided prepare it to be eaten over pasta and cooked it with artichokes, fall artichokes are in season right now. Really delicious.


I asked my fish monger if the fishermen did indeed beat the octopus after fishing them, and he confirmed that this was true, that I was buying previously beaten octopus, già picchiato. He got a kick out of that, it was one of those questions that the locals don’t ask, and if any other foreigners shop at his store, they probably don’t ask him questions like these. He also got a kick out of the time that I asked him how to clean a calamari.

P1330035 P1330037  P1330041 P1330042

Rigatoni with Octopus and Artichokes

  • 1 medium octopus, cleaned
  • 6 medium artichokes
  • 8-10 “winter tomatoes” or ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • parsley
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • ½ cup of chopped fresh flat parsley
  • 1 whole lemon
  • salt to taste

Prepare a bowl with cold water and lemon juice.

Clean the artichokes by eliminating their outer leaves; you can do this by bending them and snapping them off. Do this until you get to the leaves that are lighter in color.  Cut off the tip of the central cone, to eliminate the tougher green end of the leaves. Cut the heart in half and scoop out the inside chokes with a knife or a small spoon. Cut the heart of the artichoke into thin slices and immerse in the lemon water.

Rinse the octopus and cut the tentacles into small disks.

Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wide saucepan over medium heat and add whole cloves of garlic. When the garlic starts to simmer, add octopus, stir to absorb the oil and then add the “winter tomatoes”, press the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to release their juices. Add the white wine. Let the octopus simmer for about 15 minutes or until a lot of the wine has been absorbed.

Add the artichokes slices and stems and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a medium flame and cover pan, stirring occasionally. Sauté for at least another 30 minutes, or until the artichokes are soft, if the sauce starts to dry out, add water to the pan.

In the meantime, fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor. Toss with chopped parsley and serve immediately.


One Year Ago: Pasta al Forno with Collards and Baked Eggs

Two Years Ago: Torta di Riso e Zucchine & Risotto ai Funghi Porcini

Three Years Ago: Penne alla Boscaiola

Four Years Ago: Calamarata with Octopus Heads and Clams, Ligurian Shop Windows & Puntarelle

~ by italicious on December 17, 2012.

One Response to “Rigatoni with Octopus and Artichokes”

  1. Looks delicious. Love a good bit of cephalopod, but I’ve never really tried it with pasta.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: