Spaghetti alla Chitarra with Octopus Bolognese

Sweet Leeks Risotto

Yield: 5 pints


For the braised octopus

 For the octopus ragù


Octopus, whole

3 lb.

Carrot, peeled, minced finely

1 cup

Olive oil, extra virgin

3 tbsp.

Celery, minced finely

1 cup

Garlic, peeled

3 cloves

Vidalia onion, minced finely

2 cups

Pepper flake, hot


Olive oil, extra virgin

1/2 cup

Salt, Kosher


Braised Octopus, ground


Black pepper, cracked


Tomato paste,

1 6oz can

Vinegar red wine

3 tbsp

Wine, red

2 cup

Tomatoes, San Marzano, canned, whole

16oz. can

Tomatoes, San Marzano, canned, whole

16oz. can



Bay leaf








Salt, kosher







For the braise


1.   In a Dutch oven, place the octopus, oil, garlic, hot pepper, salt, pepper, vinegar and tomatoes.

2.   Cover, bring to a simmer and cook on a gentle simmer for about 1 hour until the octopus is tender.  

3.   Once cooked, separate the octopus from its cooking liquid and let cool. Reserve cooking liquid.

4.   Once the octopus is cool enough to handle, remove the tentacles from the head.

5.   Cut the tentacles and head into 2 inch pieces, in order to pass through the grinder or robot coupe.

6.   Set up the grinder with the small dye attachment and grind the octopus. Reserve.


For the ragù


7.   Place a Dutch oven over medium- low heat and add the olive oil.

8.   Add the carrot, celery, and onion and stir frequently. Lower the heat to medium-low.

9.   Continue to stir the vegetables frequently, ensuring that they do not scorch.

10.        Be careful to not burn the vegetables, but thoroughly caramelize. The process will take at least an hour to properly achieve a caramelized paste.

11.        Add the ground octopus to the pan and stir to combine.

12.        Add tomato paste to the pan and continue to stir, making sure not to scorch. Let the tomato paste cook for 2 minutes.

13.        Add red wine to deglaze. Let cook for 3 minutes.

14.        Add the can tomato and the reserved cooking liquid, stir to combine.

15.        Add the bay leaves, cloves, and a small pinch of salt. (do not over season, as the ragù needs to reduce).

16.        Bring the ragù to a steady simmer over medium-low heat, and then reduce to low with an offset lid.

17.        Let the ragù simmer for 1.5-2 hours, being sure to stir the bottom of the pan every 15 minutes to avoid scorching.

18.        Once the ragù has been reduced, adjust the seasoning.

19.        Serve as a regular Bolognese sauce. It is delicious with Potato gnocchi but also with Spaghetti and other pasta shapes.