1.5 hours + 48 hours marinating
Massimo Mele shows us his traditional Italian-style seafood dish, cooking octopus and barley with fresh salt water. This dish has flavours of chilli, parsley, majoram and garlic.
For a perfect wine pairing, it is often said that Italian varieties like Vermentino have a salty twist, which is why they pair so well with dishes like this one. Enjoy!
1kg octopus tentacles
1 cup Tibetan barley
5 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
1 long red chilli, sliced (seeds removed, if you prefer mild)
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram
250ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
250ml (1 cup) mild extra virgin olive oil
Extra white wine vinegar, to serve
1. Place a large saucepan of sea water over high heat and bring to the boil. If sea water is unattainable, add 100g of rock salt to 5 litres of water and bring to the boil.
2. Blanch the octopus three times in boiling water for about 20 seconds each time. Once complete, turn the heat down and add the octopus and cook on a moderate simmer for 20-25 minutes or until tender.
3. Remove the octopus from the pot and set aside.
4. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a pot. Add the barley and return to the boil, then turn to low. Cover tightly and simmer for 55-60 minutes. The barley should be tender but chewy. Drain and let cool.
5. Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, chop it into 5cm pieces and put in a non-reactive bowl. Add barley to bowl, then add all the remaining ingredients. Leave to marinate for 48 hours in the refrigerator. Remove the garlic.
6. Season with more vinegar and season with freshly ground black pepper. It shouldn’t need any salt. Garnish with some fresh herbs and more extra virgin olive oil.