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Agrigento, Sicily, Italy

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Angela's Italian and Sicilian Recipes
Octopus with Linguine
Octopus with Linguine
(Polpo con Linguine)

1 (3 and 1/2-lb) cleaned fresh or frozen octopus, thawed
2 (35-oz) cans plum tomatoes, including juice
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 lb dried linguine

Put tentacles from octopus head (just below eyes) and discard head.

Fill a 6 to 8-quart pot 3/4 full with water and bring octopus to a boil (do not salt water; it will make octopus tough).

Simmer until tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour.

Drain and cool slightly.
Rinse under cold running water to remove as much of purple outer coating as possible without removing suction cups.

Drain well and cut crosswise into 1 and 1/2-inch pieces.

While octopus simmers, chop tomatoes, reserving juices.

Saute garlic and red pepper flakes in olive oil in a 6 to 8-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.

Stir in parsley and basil.

Add tomatoes with juices and bring to a boil.

Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes.

Add octopus and cook until very tender when thick parts are pierced with a fork, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, boil linguine in a large pot of salted water until 'al dente', then drain well.

Serve octopus sauce over linguine. Makes 6 servings.

Note: Octopus may be simmered, rinsed, and cut into pieces 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
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