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Polpo alla luciana

Santa Lucia Style Stewed Octopus
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Campania, Italian
Keyword: braised, seafood, stewed


  • 1 kilo 2 lbs octopus pre-cleaned
  • 500g 1 lb cherry tomatoes cut in halvses or quarters
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and slightly crushed
  • 1-2 dried hot red peppers
  • 1 handful capers preferably packed in salt, rinsed
  • 1 handful black olives preferably of the Gaeta variety
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley finely minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • In a large pot, preferably of terracotta, sauté the garlic cloves, along with the red pepper and the stems of the parsley sprigs, in the olive oil over moderate heat for just a few moments, until the garlic begins to give off its aroma.
  • Now add the octopus, head down, and cover. Let the octopus simmer over gentle heat for about 15 minutes.
  • Uncover the pot. The octopus should have given off a fair amount of liquid. Pour the tomatoes, olives and capers and re-cover tightly. (You can use some parchment paper or aluminum foil to create a better seal if you like.) Simmer the octopus gently until tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Mix in the minced parsley leaves, give the pot a turn, and let it sit for five minutes.
  • Serve your polpo alla luciana warm, with a nice chunk of crusty bread to soak up those delicious juices.