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Giovanni Pilu's Octopus

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a sa schiscionera

Giovanni Pilu of Pilu restaurant shares his Octopus a sa schiscionera recipe with us. Enjoy the octopus with a pure and refreshing white like a Verdelho from Tulloch in the Hunter Valley. It’s refined and bright and will balance the creamy garlic and potato sauce beautifully.


1 octopus, large

1 red chilli, deseeded

4 parsley stalks

2 garlic cloves, crushed

20ml extra virgin olive oil

Garlic cream

300g Dutch potatoes

3 garlic cloves

120ml cream

15g butter

Salt to taste

Potato crisps

500g cocktail potatoes

500ml water

Salt to taste

1 litre frying oil

Parsley dressing

15g parsley leaves, finely chopped

15g shallots, finely chopped

2gm red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

10ml white balsamic vinegar

50ml extra virgin olive oil

Recipe by Giovanni Pilu

Photography by John Paul Urizar

Styling by Michaela Le Compte 


1. Place all the ingredients in a large braising pot. Cover with cling film, making sure to create almost like a pressure bubble. Turn on the heat and keep low for the whole cooking time, approximately two hours. After this time the octopus should be tender. Remove it from the pot and set aside.

Garlic cream

1. Peel the potatoes and place them in a medium pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until soft, about 20 minutes.

2. In a small pot, cover the garlic with cold water and bring to a boil. Strain and repeat the process two more times. Add the cream and butter and bring to a simmer.  Puree the garlic mixture in a blender. Pass through a fine chinois and keep hot.

3. Pass the cooked potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Fold in the hot garlic mixture until smooth. 

4. Season with salt.

Parsley dressing

1. Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for a couple of hours before use.

Potato crisps

1. Boil cocktail potatoes in salted water until soft. Drain and reserve water.

2. Peel the potatoes and place them into a blender jug. Add some of the reserved water and blend until smooth. We are looking for a runny puree that is easily spreadable, so if needed, add more water until right consistency.

3. Spread a thin layer onto a baking paper sheet and dry overnight at 60°C inside oven.

4. Fry in oil until golden in colour.

5. Grill octopus in a heavy based pan or charcoal until nicely coloured. Cut into pieces, approx. 2cm and toss in a bowl with the parsley dressing and a pinch of salt.

6. Heat the garlic cream in a small saucepan and, with a spoon, start plating, smearing the cream onto the plate.  Arrange the octopus pieces and drizzle over extra parsley dressing.  Arrange potato crisps next to the octopus pieces. 

Wine Match


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