Pane e Latte’s “Ragù di Polpo” (Octopus Ragù)

The octopus ragù recipe is such a classic. It’s one of those super simple recipes that I can really relate to and is one of Pane e Latte’s menu staples.

The ragù di polpo is a dish that my mother use to make on a Sunday and was cheered and loved by all family members. I remember catching octopus from La Grotta della Rondinella in Polignano a Mare by dropping in the water a chicken foot (yes a chicken foot) and a white towel attached to a rope. Too many memories are connected to this dish!

This sauce could be accompanied by some pasta (we love paccheri or tubular pasta – pictured below), served on a piece of bread as a starter or even make it as a main course over some mash potato.

Yield 6 serves
Active preparation time: 30min
Passive preparation time: 5 hours


60ml Extra-virgin olive oil
1kg SA octopus cut in 2cm pieces
2 julienne cut red onions
30ml Red wine
750ml Passata
3 x Bay leaf
A.R. Salt
A.R. Pepper


  1. Heat oil in a flame-proof casserole dish or stockpot over low heat.
  2. Add onions and season with salt (why do we salt onions to soften them up? Learn about Osmosis). Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Add the octopus and cook it for 10/15 minutes.
  4. De-glaze with the red wine.
  5. When wine has evaporated, cover the octopus with water and let it cook for about 2 hours over low heat stirring occasionally.
  6. Add passata, bay leaf and cook for another 2 hours.
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