Braised Octopus with Tomato & Olives

By  Milly Lambert

Use any octopus, squid or cuttlefish for this dish; it’s a great way to make larger specimens tender, while smaller ones will need a shorter cooking time. Leave the skin on if you like the dark purple colour, or peel it off for a whiter look.

Serves: 6

Wine Match: Take It To The Grave Pinot Noir


  • 3 x 500g octopus, tenderised, cleaned, head discarded
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 400g canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Ligurian olives
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, torn
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Cooked macaroni, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Cut octopus tentacles into chunks.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Add garlic and onion and cook for a minute then stir in octopus, and cook for a few minutes until it all comes into contact with the pan and turns opaque. Add wine and bring to the boil, stirring well. Stir in tomatoes, olives, thyme, bay, salt and pepper and pour into a baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil or a tight fitting lid and cook for 30 minutes. Baste and return to oven for another 30 minutes, then check to see if tentacles are tender. If not, continue cooking, checking every 15 minutes until tender, this may take another 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the octopus. If there is a lot of liquid left once the octopus is cooked, remove octopus and boil cooking liquid until reduced to a sauce consistency, then stir octopus back through sauce.
  5. Serve with macaroni. 

Alternative species: Calamari, cuttlefish, squid.


Recipe supplied by Sydney Seafood School. 
Visit for more great seafood recipes and cooking tips, answers to frequently asked seafood questions and the full program of Sydney Seafood School cooking classes.


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