Friday, April 12, 2013

Carmela Soprano's Polipetti in Salsa di Pomodoro - Baby Octopus in Tomato Sauce l Preparing Octopus and Friselle

A few days ago I was posting 'I'll never make that' recipes for relaxation.
Well, here's another one.
Unless baby octopus is a common item in your neighbourhood.

The librarian, Natalie Del Greco, had written an interesting chapter called
Cooking the Neapolitan Way for Artie's The Sopranos Family Cookbook.
Octopus is a common food in Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisine.
So I guess octopus could be a common item in a Neapolitan neighbourhood.

Friselle are black pepper biscuits.
Before serving, sprinkle them with cool water and let them sit for 10 minutes.
After they soften, break them into pieces and put the pieces in 6 bowls.
Toasted sliced Italian bread works, too.

If you have fresh tomatoes, substitute
2 Cups peeled, seeded and chopped for the canned.

Before cooking, rinse the octopus and drain well.
Remove the hard round beak at the base of the tentacles of each octopus.

Cooked octopus contains about 139 Calories per three-ounce portion,
and is a source of vitamin B3, B12, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium.

The arms and body parts are prepared in various ways, depending on the species.
Octopus is an ingredient in Japanese cuisine: sushi, takoyaki, and akashiyaki.
In Korea, some small species are sometimes eaten alive as a novelty food.
A live octopus is usually sliced up, and it is eaten while still squirming.

Don't worry.
These babies are served cooked.

                        Polipetti in Salsa di Pomodoro

Serves 6

In a large saucepan place
2 pounds prepared baby octopus (see above)
2 Cups Italian tomatoes, chopped and peeled
1/4 Cup olive oil
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
salt to taste

Bring to a simmer and cover the pot.
Reduce the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
Uncover the pot and cook for 15 minutes.
The octopus should be tender when pierced with a knife.

Place the prepared friselle or toasted sliced Italian bread in the 6 bowls.
Spoon the octopus and sauce on top of the bread.

Sprinkle with the remaining
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Serve immediately.

Would I make Polipetti in Salsa di Pomodoro?
Sure, if I could find it.
Or if I move to Naples.
Location is everything.

One recipe down.  Twenty-three more to go.

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