Octopus on Cream of Red Turnip and Pepper, with Drops of Mustard

Octopus is an ingredient that cannot normally be combined with any other marine food. It is in fact the only product of the sea that is cooked to its best in its own liquids, in “its” water.
There are several schools of thought about cooking octopus and today thanks to new technologies we have a large number available, all appropriate for the purpose of containing weight loss.

This is in fact a problem that in octopus that tends to manifest itself in a very obvious way: has anyone happened to buy an octopus for a recipe and see at the end of cooking that your main ingredient has been reduced by half, and that consequently your guests may have to consume more sweets or more wine than expected to overcome this inconvenience?

In any case, now we are going to use a technique in vogue since the times of pre-imperial Rome: cooking in a terracotta pot (if you are not provided with this pot, a little in disuse now, it will be fine to use a pot of stainless steel).

For this octopus we have combined a seasonal ingredient such as red turnip, to which we add some chili and a mayonnaise of anchovies that enhances the flavour with a taste of the sea that goes well with the octopus.

The red turnip we chose comes from Monte San Biagio, a village in the Ausoni mountains not far from the sea, which is famous because the second Punic war was fought here around 219 BC, the one that saw the Romans against Hannibal of Carthage.

Monte San Biagio was crossed by the ancient via Appia and for many years was the customs site between the Papal States and the Kingdom of Naples and in its fort in Passo Portella have stayed princes and sovereigns. Perhaps for this reason to be between different states and cultures Monte San Biagio is a territory where particular products are grown that have unique backgrounds.


For the octopus: grease the pot with olive oil, heat and brown the octopus together with a potato. The potato is intended to release starch that will serve the octopus to cook without flaking losing its skin and colour.
Once browned, after about 5 minutes of flame, cook with a dash of red wine and add a full glass of water. Put the heat to minimum and cook for 40 minutes for an octopus of medium size (800/900 gr) and then turn off and let the contents cool.
Once cooled, cut off the tentacles and the head from which you should remove the spout located at the bottom.

For the cream of red turnip and chilli pepper: after peeling the red turnip cut into cubes of 1/2 cm on each side and sauté in a hot pan with a little oil, add the chili as you like (check if spicy oil or dried chilli), then continue cooking on a gentle flame with a little water.
When it is soft, after approximately 15 minutes, blend it, adding a little water and oil to reach the desired consistency.

For mustard drops: dilute a teaspoon of mustard with greek yogurt, deciding the quantities according to personal taste.