Squid Ink Pasta with Octopus and Spicy Tomato Sauce

Squid Ink Pasta with Octopus and Spicy Tomato Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Tiffani Thiessen


For the Octopus:

  • 1 pound baby octopus, tentacles removed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ¾ cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fennel, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the Spicy Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup dry rose or white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound squid ink spaghetti


For octopus, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, submerge the octopus tentacles into the water for 10 seconds at a time. Repeat this 3 more times. Remove the blanched octopus to a medium saucepot and add in the garlic, onion, fennel, and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the octopus is tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife.

For spicy tomato sauce, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Then add the onion and fennel and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and then pour in the wine, diced tomatoes and harissa. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and there is only a small amount of liquid left. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the butter. Let cool for 10-15 minutes and then transfer the sauce to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Season with more salt to taste.

Cook pasta to package directions. Drain and toss the pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the cooked pasta to a serving plate and top with desired amount of sauce. Drain the squid from the cooking liquid, season with salt, and add to the top of the pasta. Serve immediately.



Photography by Brandon Kidd



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