Emilio Giagnoni’s Octopus Essence Linguine

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This stunning octopus linguine is our idea of carb heaven. The linguine is partially cooked before finishing in an inky octopus cooking liquid for a dramatic yet flavourful result


Ingredients
For the linguine:
• 160g of linguine
• salt

For the octopus:
• 2 octopus, each weighing 500–550g
• 250ml of white wine, Emilio uses Vermentino di Sardegna
• 1 garlic clove, sliced
• 50g of cuttlefish ink, in case there isn’t enough ink in the octopus ink sacs

For the tomatoes:
• 1 tomato, weighing approximately 200g (Emilio uses Ramato variety tomatoes)
• 10g of thyme
• 10g of cane sugar
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• extra virgin olive oil
• table salt

For the red sauce:
• 500g of red pepper
• 2 red chillies
• extra virgin olive oil
• table salt

For the green sauce:
• 400g of basil leaves
• extra virgin olive oil

To finish:
• 1 sprig of thyme, leaves picked
• 1 garlic clove, sliced
• olive oil

To serve:
• chopped chives

Method
1 To begin, clean each octopus and remove the innards, beak and eyes. Keep the ink sacs to one side. Place the octopus in a large casserole dish and add the wine and garlic
2 Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for approximately 25–30 minutes. Set aside
3 Pass the cooking liquid through a fine sieve and stir the ink into the liquid
4 Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
5 To prepare the tomatoes, wash the tomatoes and dry thoroughly. Cut each tomato lengthways into quarters and remove the seeds
6 Lay on a tray and season with garlic, thyme, table salt, extra virgin olive oil and cane sugar
7 Bake the tomatoes until lightly dried and concentrated in flavour, then cut into strips. Set aside
8 To make the red sauce, peel the red pepper and chillies and season with table salt. Add a dash of oil to a small pan, add the chillies and peppers and sweat until tender. Blitz to a smooth purée and store in a pipette at room temperature until ready to serve
9 To make the green sauce, blanch the basil leaves in salted water then immediately transfer to iced water to halt the cooking process
10 Drain well, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and blitz to a smooth purée. Store in a pipette at room temperature until ready to serve
11 To cook the pasta, bring a large pan of water to the boil then add the salt. Place the ink cooking liquid in a separate pan and keep warm
12 Add the linguine to the boiling water and cook for 4–5 minutes. Drain well then transfer the pasta to the inky liquid to finish cooking the pasta
13 Remove from the heat and carry on stirring until creamy by drizzling in some extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the tomatoes
14 To finish the octopus tentacles, preheat a pan until hot and add a dash of oil. Add the tentacles, garlic and thyme, pressing down during cooking to achieve a nice crispy exterior
15 To serve, neatly plate the linguine and garnish with the two sauces dotted around the plate. Add the octopus tentacles and some finely chopped chives and serve

Recipe courtesy of Emilio Giagnoni, originally published for GreatItalianChefs.com

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