Insalata di Polipo e Patate; Fano, Italy

Happy Friday Gourmies!!
Can you believe it’s already Friday? That another weekend is upon us? That it is half way through September? That it is 50 degrees in Chicago today?
No? Same here.
So as promised, today’s post is the recipe for Insalata di Polipo e Patate. I seriously have to say that this appetizer may very well be my favorite of all time. I know I make that claim a lot, but this time is different. I swear.
Before we get into the recipe, I wanted to share my photos from Fano, Italy. Fano was out last week long stay before we headed to Rome to fly back home. We seriously had such an amazing trip, and Fano just put the icing on the cake. It is a truly Italian beach town, where the locals and the tourists are pure Italians. We were truly some of the only Americans in sight. It was lovely. 
The food was true Italian seafood. The wine, oh the wine.. it was unreal. We ordered “un litro di vino bianco frizzante” (x1.5-2) at every lunch and dinner. I’m not kidding, we LOVED it. It’s essentially house white wine that they actually make themselves and infuse with bubbles. It comes out of a beer tap at the bar, and is served cold in a liter glass pitcher. It’s a beautiful thing. 
Honestly, I would recommend visiting Fano, Italy to anyone and everyone. Go! 

Sorry for the awful pictures… the lighting was terrible. Oh well!

Insalata di Polipo e Patate (Octopus and Potato Salad)
Adapted from: Chef Lidia Bastianich

What you need:
1 1/2 – 2 pounds octopus, cleaned
1 wine cork
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium Idaho potatoes, whole
5 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Bermuda onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Lemon wedges for garnish

What to do:
Place octopus, wine cork, bay leaves, and salt and pepper in a large pot with water. 
Cover generously and bring to a boil. 
Reduce the heat and cook the octopus at a vigorous simmer until tender but slightly al dente, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a second pot, cover the potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. 
Cook about 25 minutes, until just tender. 
Cool, peel, and cut potatoes them into 1-inch cubes.
Drain the octopus, discarding the bay leaves and cork. 
Cut the tentacles away where they join the head and, if desired, strip away the skin and suction cups by drawing the tentacles through the bunched fingers of one hand. 
Clean the octopus head by squeezing out the core with your fingers, and cut the meat into thin slices. 
Cut the tentacles into 1-inch pieces. 
Place olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, and parsley in a large bowl. 
Add the octopus pieces and warm potatoes and toss to coat completely. 
Place salad on plates, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

There’s a story behind this.
Insalata di Polipo e Patate; Fano, Italy

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