Gennaro Contaldo's octopus linguine

Serves 2


12 ripe cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
½ a fresh red chilli
2 anchovy fillets
6 black or green olives, stone in extra virgin olive oil
5 baby octopuses
1 tablespoon baby capers, rinsed
½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
200g linguine
Sea salt and freshly ground
Black pepper
Optional: ½ a lemon, to serve


Start by preparing your ingredients. Halve the tomatoes, roughly chop the garlic, then finely slice the chilli and anchovies. Crush the olives with the palm of your hand, pull out the stones, then tear the flesh in half.

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat, then add the octopuses (it may look like a lot but they’ll shrink to half the size), tomatoes, garlic, chilli, anchovies, olives, capers and most of the whole parsley leaves. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 40 minutes, or until reduced and smelling good.

When the sauce is nearly ready, cook the linguine in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. Reserving some of the cooking water, drain the linguine and add to the sauce. Toss well over the heat until lovely and glossy, adding a splash of the cooking water to loosen, if needed. Very finely slice the reserved parsely leaves. Season the pasta carefully to taste with salt and pepper, and serve with a drizzle of oil, a scattering of the remaining parsley and a lemon wedge, if you like.

Taken from The Pasta Book, published by Michael Joseph. Recipe © Gennaro Contaldo. Photography © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited 2015, by David Loftus.

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