After a long day at work, I love the ritual of creating and cooking dinner. Due to my brainless job, I get to spend the whole day thinking about ingredients and coming up with ideas for future recipes. This one came about after an eleven hour shift, I wanted something that would be perfect in this hot weather, on a Friday night, with a cold glass of wine; yet it had to be quick and easy because I was exhausted. This octopus salad really hit the mark. It was so fresh, tasty, interesting and EASY!
I’ve only had octopus twice before, in restaurants, I’ll admit, I’ve never cooked it, and have only come across frozen ones at work. I feel I’d need someone with some experience to show me how to deal with a fresh one. Maybe this year when in Europe…(fingers crossed)
So, I was lucky enough to have access to these beautiful marinated baby octopus, all ready to go in a delicious, vinegary, herby, garlic marinade. This dish really counts on the marinade, as it acts as the dressing for the salad. If you can’t find the brand that I’ve used here, check the ingredients of the marinade in the ones you buy, taste it and see what its missing and add some ingredients accordingly. You want some garlic, chilli, herbs, vinegar, onion, oil and sugar. If you would like to cook a lighter, or gluten free version of this salad, use an alternative to the pasta, such as chickpeas, quinoa or brown rice.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
500g small shell pasta, or other small pasta such as orecchiette, or a gluten free alternative
1 zucchini, thinly sliced (a mandolin is ideal)
1 lemon, juiced. Plus 1 cut into quarters to serve
1 small spanish onion, very thinly sliced
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
375g marinated baby octopus (I used Angelikas Bros. brand), large ones halved, smaller ones left whole, marinade reserved
1/2 cup, store bought, lemon and herb breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in a pan (this is the pangrattato)
1 large red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Combine the zucchini, lemon juice, onion, tomatoes, octopus (along with it’s marinade), chilli, and parsley, in a large bowl.
Cook the pasta according to packet directions, drain and add to the large bowl of combined ingredients. Stir through to combine and warm the rest of the ingredients.
Check for seasoning and add salt and paper to taste.
Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle with pangrattato.