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Octopus with Pasta in the Pot

Cuisine: Greek
Region: Generic

A Greek lenten classic – guaranteed to keep your body going whatever you have to do. Octopus with Pasta in the Pot is going to take some time to cook – approx. 2 hours – but its level of difficulty is minimal: sautee, simmer, stir, do something else while the food is cooking, pay some attention during the final stage. (That difficult. 🙂 ) Enjoy!

Serves: 4 -6
Cooking time: approx. 120 min
You will need: a pot


  • 0.75 – 1 kg (approx. 1.5 to 2lbs) octopus
  • 500g (approx. 1 Lb) pasta, preferably Ditalli, Tubetti or whatever macaroni-like short and hollow pasta you can find.
  • 500g (1 Lb) diced tomatoes. Fresh or canned from a brand you trust.
  • 1 cup (glass) of olive oil.
  • 1/2 cup of white wine or a 1/4 cup vinegar. (Do prefer grape vinegar if that’s an option.)
  • 2-3 diced onions.
  • 3-4 diced garlic cloves.
  • 4 cups of hot water.
  • Salt & pepper.


  1. Wash the octopus and cut it in small pieces.
  2. Dice the onions, the garlic and the tomatoes.
  3. Pour the olive oil in a pot, place the pot on the stove and turn on the fire to mid-high.
  4. Wait for a few minutes until the oil is hot and then add the onions.
  5. Sautee the onions until translucent and add the garlic.
  6. Give it a stir or two and add the octopus.
  7. Sautee the mixture for about 5 minutes.
  8. Lower the fire to medium-low.
  9. Add the wine or vinegar.
  10. Give it a stir, wait for a beat or two, then add the diced tomatoes and 1 glass of hot water.
  11. Add pepper to taste.
  12. Cover the pot.
  13. Let it simmer for about 90 minutes or until the octopus is tender. Give it a stir from time to time just to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  14. Ninety minutes later: add 3 glasses of hot water.
  15. Add salt to taste.
  16. Add the pasta – Ditalli, Tubetti or similar – to the pot.
  17. Raise the fire to mid-high.
  18. It will take 15-20 min before the pasta is cooked and the liquid is absorbed. So, at this stage stir very often because the pasta can and will stick to the bottom of the pot as it absorbs the liquid.
  19. Turn off the fire, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes and you’re ready to serve.

Notes on Pasta with Octopus in the Pot

  • If you see that the liquid is absorbed but the pasta is not yet cooked, add 1/2 glass of hot water or so and keep stirring. It will get there.
  • It tastes really good the next day (or the day after…. :))
  • If your palate is used to spices, you can freely add chili flakes, cayen pepper, Gochugaru (Korean spice) etc. It will definitely not harm the recipe.
  • If you’re going for spice, do prefer to add the spice while the octopus is simmering: you need the spice to infuse the liquid and the spicy liquid to infuse the pasta.
  • Enjoy!

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