Chilli baby octopus in red sauce

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Baby octopus slow cooked with onion, garlic, chilli and red sauce makes a very simple & tasty meal.  Variations of this dish are cooked in many regions of Italy.  Make sure to include your favourite crusty bread so you can soak up the wonderful sauce.  Try to purchase cleaned baby octopus to cut preparation time.


  • 1.25kg / 2.75lb baby octopus – cleaned, rinsed, drained
  • 1 large white onion – peeled, rinsed, sliced finely, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves – peeled, rinsed, crushed
  • 4 red bird’s eye chillies – washed, stems removed, sliced finely
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cups bottled tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup parsley – washed, sliced roughly
  • 1 crusty bread loaf – eg vienna, sliced thickly


  1. Prepare the baby octopus, clean, rinse and drain.  Making sure to remove beaks.  Cut each octopus into 3 pieces, head, body of tentacles in half.
  2. Prepare other ingredients.
  3. In a large pot on medium heat the oil.
  4. Add to pot onion and garlic cook for 5 minutes, stir frequently.
  5. Add baby octopus and chilli mix well cook 5 minutes, stir frequently.
  6. Add tomato puree and increase heat to high to boil. 
  7. Reduce heat to low, cover pot and cook for 45 minutes.
  8. Remove lid and cook a further 15 minutes on medium heat to thicken sauce.  Add half the parsley and mix well.
  9. Scope part sauce and portion of baby octopus into bowls topped with extra parsley and serve with sliced bread.

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