Octopus in Sauce

(“Polpo in Salsa” – “Purpu Muratu”)


Polpo in America is available frozen in fish stores. One of the best polpo is imported from Portugal. The medium size (weighting about 1 ½ Lbs.) are younger and more tender and are the most desirable.

 Tenderize the polpo by pounding it with a meat mallet, wash the tentacles and the head with salt and rinse in abundant water.
Sautéed, or murato Is polpo simmered in tomato, herbs and spices and cooked in sealed earthenware.

Served as a main dish, as polpo murato (walled up) is a different and delicious main course.


Serves 4



  • 4 lb. raw octopus, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic slightly smashed
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 16 oz peeled tomatoes, approximately 2 ½ cups, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • chopped parsley (small bunch)
  • few hot pepper flakes (Optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste


With the flame at medium position, using a 3 quarts earthenware pot with a lid or a saucepan with a tight lid, heat oil with mashed garlic. When garlic starts to fry, increase flame to high and add peeled tomatoes, tomato paste, half of the parsley and bay leaf.
Cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from flame. Add polpo and hot peppers (optional), black pepper and salt. Mix it gently to blend thoroughly. Cover pot tightly using parchment paper or foil and then place the lid.
Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
When ready, taste for salt, pour the polpo in a serving dish and garnish with remaining parsley.
Serve hot with oven fresh Italian bread.