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Octopus is an excellent, delicate mollusk that is particularly easy on the stomach. We steam it with a wine cork in the pot because the cork tendenzes the octopus. This dish can be made a day ahead of time and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
Italian Family Dining
by Edward & Eugenia Giobbi
• 1 small octopus, about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds (have your fishmonger clean the head)
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup sliced scallions
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced
• Salt and hot pepper flakes
• 1 wine cork
• 1 cup fresh peas (about 1 pound in the shell)
• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
• 1 tablespoon chopped mint
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
In a large pot, place the octopus, wine, scallions, garlic, and salt and hot pepper flakes to taste. Add the wine cork Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to medium-low and cook, tightly covered, until the octopus is fork-tender, about 45 minutes Remove the octopus from the liquid and let it cool Rub off the dark skin and suction cups from the tentacles. Cut the octopus into 1-inch sections, place in a large bowl, and set aside.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil over medium-high heat and add the peas. Boil the peas until they are tender when tested with a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain and add the peas to the octopus Add the cilantro, mint, oil, and lemon juice Season to taste with salt Allow the salad to rest for 1 1/2 hours. It is best served at room temperature.
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