Portuguese food

The food of Portugal is rich, & has a depth of intensity just like its people.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oven Roasted Octopus- Polvo no Forno


I wanted to do this dish, because it's one of my absolute favorites.
While I was making this dish my 5 year old nephew asked "Tia (untie) what's for dinner", I replyed octopus, "Yum, I love octopus, it's one of my favorite". It made me smile.
At dinner I turned to my sister in law who was commenting on how this is fast becoming one of her favorites as well , & said this dish will be one of those childhood dishes he will look back on & love.
I am pleased be part of his childhood food memories.

When I was in Portugal, I had an octopus dish in a restaurant that blew me away. The octopus was so tender & full of flavor, so when I got back to Australia I decided to re create the dish, it's slightly different to the dish I had, but it's no less wonderful.
The octopus is really tender & the flavore has a depth.
If you like seafood, then you'll love this dish.

Choose large octopus. I get mine from my local fishmonger, so they are pretty easy to get.


  • 2kg large octopus
  • 2 tab capsicum paste (massa de pimentao)
  • 2 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 fresh or dryed bayleaves
  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium onions, cut chunky
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, cut stalks & leaves then seperate them
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Serves 4

For this recipe I like to use large sized octopus, the baby ones can be used if you like, but I find the larger ones have more flavor, but it's just a personal prefrance on my part. 
Clean & cut the octopus. Cut the part just below the head, the beak part, discard this piece. Cut the tenticles. I leave the tenticles whole but cut them into two pieces.

In a roasting pan lay all the octopus down, add the olive oil, white wine, bayleaves, coriander stalks, 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, capsicum paste, salt, water, cover the pan with foil & bake at 180 degrees for 50 min.
After this time take out the pan, remove the foil & add the rest of the onions & garlic & increase the heat to 200 degrees, cook for a further 40 minutes.
You want the octopus soft & tender & full of juice.

Add the chopped coriander on top as your about to serve.
I served boiled potatoes sprinkled with coriander, with this dish & a garden salad.

  •  It may seem like a lot of liquid but a lot of it will evaporate during the cooking time.
  • If the liquid evaporates too quickly add more water & some wine.
  • If you dont like coriander substitute it for parsley



Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

That looks so nice and juicy! And it must be good if it's a family favourite! :D

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Lorraine, it's a fantastic dish.The smell as it's cooking is great & the taste is brilliant.

belnboo said...

I love this dish. Looks yummy.I'm going to make this dish at some point.
Love your recipes.

Roland said...

The octopus looks fantastic. Your photos are really great.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Belnboo, thank you, it's a great dish, I think you'll love it.

Portuguese kitchen said...

Hi Roland, thanks. I'm glad you like my photos.