Braised Baby Octopus in Tomato Sauce

Braised octopus

This is a great recipe that I adapted from Octopus, when braised in a liquid, particularly an acidic one, will turn out deliciously tender.


  • 1 lb. baby octopus, cleaned (slice out eye/beak), rinsed and dried
  • Olive oil
  • 2 small stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced/smashed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 5-6 new potatoes, cut into wedges
  • Capers (to taste)


  1. In a heavy pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and fry the octopus for just a few minutes to give it some color. Watch it carefully and don’t let it burn; 2-4 minutes is good. Evacuate the octopus to a plate and let it rest.
  2. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, leaving the delicious fond from the octopi at the bottom of the pan. Caramelize the celery, onion and garlic in the pan for a few minutes until the onions are just translucent and the celery and garlic are browning a bit. Return the octopi to the pan and add the tomatoes, paprika, sage, salt and pepper; if the liquid doesn’t seem sufficient to cover the bottom of the pan and mostly cover the octopus, add 1/2 cup of red or white wine or 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of champagne vinegar.
  3. Allow mixture to come to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, then add potatoes. Simmer for 40-45 minutes with pan partially covered either with a lid or aluminum foil.
  4. Serve immediately and garnish with capers.