How to Boil Octopus so as to make it Tender, or Lessatura del Polpo per Ridurlo Tenero: Octopus is delightful, but it can be devilish to cook, going from soft and tender to rubbery and back as it sits in the pot; the trick is to either remove it before it goes rubbery or have the patience to wait until it passes through that phase. Here's a trick for boiling it that will yield tender octopus every time.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- The octopus, and whatever else the recipe calls for.
Wash and clean your octopus, removing the ink sack and internal organs by making a circular cut around the beak with a paring knife and pulling it free (the organs will come with it). Set three full pots of water on the stove, each with a cork in it, and bring them to a boil. Drop the octopus into the first, and when the water stops boiling transfer it to the second. When the second stops boiling transfer it to the third, and when it stops boiling return it to the first, which should be boiling again by now. Repeat the transfers, and when you get to the first pot for the second time boil the octopus for 20 minutes. When it's done, cut it into bite-sized pieces, with diced boiled potatoes, seasoned with olive oil, freshly chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.