Marinara baby octopus
  |  First Published: August 2015

The sauce in the following recipe is a rich robust tomato sauce. Baby octopus that has been soaked in a spicy (chilli) citrus (lemon) based marinade, then simmered in this tomato sauce until tender. This recipe is easy to make and can also be used either as a pasta sauce or as a topping for crunchy bread.

Ingredients for marinade

1 cup lemon juice

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

2 tablespoons soy sauce

A good pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Ingredients for sauce

1 teaspoon garlic paste (3 cloves)

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

A good pinch of dried chilli flakes

12 or so basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn



The ingredients for the marinade will add a spicy flavour to the baby octopus. Ingredients include lemon juice, dried chilli flakes, soy sauce, salt and pepper.


Marinade the baby octopus in a ceramic (or plastic) bowl for at least half an hour – don’t use metal. Sprinkle some roughly chopped flat leaf parsley over the octopus and mix through.


In the pot, sauté the garlic paste and chilli flakes in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir fry for a minute or so before adding the tinned tomatoes to the mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine the tomatoes into the mixture.


Add roughly chopped or torn basil to the tomato mixture and stir well.


Drain the octopus and discard the marinade. Carefully add the baby octopus to the pot.


Stir the contents of the pot together thoroughly and then allow to simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the baby octopus is tender.


The completed baby octopus in sauce, just waiting to be either ladled over steaming hot pasta or heaped onto some fresh crusty bread.

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