A Recipe of the Southern-Italian Tradition: Octopus and Potatoes. By Chef Rosario De Luca

Using his passion and creative estro to innovate within the tradition and bringing to our table authentic Italian delicacies and regional specialties: That’s chef Rosario De Luca’s take on food preparation and Italian cuisine

Using his passion and creative estro to innovate within the tradition and bringing to our table authentic Italian delicacies and regional specialties: That’s chef Rosario De Luca’s take on food preparation and Italian cuisine at Cacciani restaurant in Frascati (Italy) and in the other restaurants he creates menus for as a consultant in Italy and internationally.

The Rome native chef is eager to share his culinary secrets with aspiring executive chefs and food lovers. He collaborates with the Pizza and Passione Institute (with about 100 branches in Italy and internationally), where he teaches masterclasses in kitchen management, pizza making, and topping, the art of giving a dish its final touches before serving it to clients.

The recipe we are sharing, octopus with potatoes, is a revisitation of a very traditional dish from Naples, city that is also the pizza capital of the world.

In a world in which many restaurants struggle and need to cut costs to balance the books, chef De Luca’s suggestion is to always use top tier and authentic ingredients, even if they are more expensive than imitations. The secret is using this produce to its full potential, following a waste-free or at least waste-less approach. The Italian chef believes in Igles Corelli’s circular cooking philosophy: Using the same ingredient in many different ways and with various techniques can bring to a wide array of results and flavors.

Chefs can make dishes with a very different texture and taste from a same raw ingredient of excellent quality.

For instance, chef De Luca is making a natural leavening water macerating the skin of potatoes, carrots, onions, and zucchini for eight days. His burrata-filled gnocchi made with stale bread instead of fresh potatoes have been a very successful new entry on his ever-changing menus.

Here’s a very easy recipe from the Italian cuisine’s tradition you can make at home.

Polpo con Patate, Octopus with potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 octopus (washed and cleaned)
  • 1 large potato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A sprig of parsley
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the octopus and boil for 30 minutes on medium-low heat. Take the octopus out of the water and put it in ice to rapidly drop its temperature.
  • Slice the potatoes in ½ cm (0.2 inch) slices and put them in boiling water for 3 minutes. Take the potatoes out of the water, dry them well. Fry them in extra virgin olive oil (just two minutes, the potatoes shouldn’t be too crispy).
  • Let the potatoes rest in absorbing paper for 20 minutes. With a stand mixer, mix olive oil, parsley, garlic.
  • Put the octopus and potatoes on a plate. Season with salt, pepper, and the oil mix.

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