Recipes: Cooking Foods Italian Style – Octopus Salad – Polpo con Patate

Recipes: Cooking Foods Italian Style – Octopus Salad – Polpo con Patate

more details in my culinary books published by



Octopus with potatoes is a wonderful and easy salad recipe! Hopefully you have already prepared the octopus as per instruction in the “Preparations” section…otherwise please go to check it out!






Ingredients: (6 portions)

one fresh Octopus whole and clean of two pounds weight (1 kilo)

two pounds of Potatoes

garlic and parsley

Extra Virgin Olive Oil two spoons

one Lemon

Salt 30 grams








Start cleaning the Octopus (see how to do it  in the “Preparations” section)














wash well in running water and put apart.














Potatoes are very good with Octopus we will boil them together. Start peeling the potatoes…
















you should cut the potatoes only if they are very big (more then a fist) because they will cook for 40 minutes, if you cut them smaller then a fist they become too soft…










you already prepared the fresh water boiling on the fire: it’s important do not put any salt in to the water now; the salt must be added only when the Octopus is cooked, after 35-40 minutes.  When the water is stronghly boiling, without reduce the fire, you start to drown the Octopus in it starting with the legs, put slowly the legs in to the water and keep them boiling for 30-40 seconds, then pull out from the water…….












the end of the legs start to twirl….














drown back inside the water, this time little more deep, for again 30-40 seconds…












pull back from the water again for few seconds, you are meking curly legs…













and again drown the Octopus for 30-40 seconds….














again pull it back from the water for few seconds….













I know that this going in and out seems to be annoying you, but when you’ll see the legs twirling in your hands making the Octopus so “beautiful” to eat… especially kids love Octopus curly legs to bite! So drown the Octopus again in to the boiling water for 30-40 seconds….













…pull it up again! you can see now: the Octopus is readyto be cooked!













Now sink the Octopus in to the water until it is totally covered, the water could loose the temperature for few minutes but then it must be mantained with a smooth boiling, you should also cover the pot this in order to avoid that steam and smell go around your house… covering the pot make easier mantein the water boiling spending less energy…












after the water covering the Octopus starts to boil again, go to drop the potatoes inside, too…












Let boil for approximatively 35 minutes, covered, turning the Octopus upside-down every 10 minutes;  pay attention to the Octopus skin: if it start to peel you must check the Octopus even before 35 minutes…how to check if Octopus is cooked?












You will check if the Octopus is ready in this way: stub a fork in the middle of the legs: if the fork will enter in to the meat without effort the Octopus is ready (approximatively 35-40 minutes since it was sunk in to the boiling water) I remind you that the water must be kept boiling for all the cooking process.












turn off the fire: now it is time to salt the water; so please take a full hand of marine salt (30-40 grams) and drop it straight on top of the Octopus: leave it in the water for other 5 minutes with the salt.












After I salt the water I do upside down the Octopus only once: it should take the salt taste even if you do not move it.















Take out the Octopus  from the water; it must have a beautiful red-pink color, use a holed casserole to make it dry, put aside until the Octopus become cold, if you cut it now you will break the skin compromizind the final result!











Check also for the potatoes, they should be ready….
















…just stub one with a fork to check!















also the potatoes have to be dried using an holed casserole













As the Octopus became cold (may be it need one hour to reach normal temperature) you can start to cut in slices, cut all parts (head and legs)













cut the potatoes in smaller pieces, too.















cut one lemon and dig out the seeds…













put the Octopus slices in to a bowl and squeeze out the lemon juice, stirring with a spoon













add half spoon of Garlic-Parsley Mix (see in the “ingredients” section)













you can stir with a spoon but I prefer to spread the mix with my “clean” bare hands;

please note that I wash my hands in the kitchen frequently, in particular I wash my hands every time before I have to touch the food, never touch food when your hands are not washed with water and soap, the soap I use is neutro “marseille” white soap without parfume, if your hands are not clean you risk to contaminate the food with germs and bacterias, please follow basic sanitation rules.









add the potatoes to the Octopus













drop half glass of Extra Virgin Olive oil and stir…














as the mixture is ready try one bite to check if the salt was enough, you can add more salt and also other spices like “chilly” if you like !!!













Well, plate it and serve cold with some lemon aside, buon appetito!











Recipes: Cooking Foods Italian Style – Octopus Salad – Polpo con Patate

more details in my culinary books published by






Recipes: Cooking Foods – Octopus Cleaning

Recipes: Cooking Foods Italian Style – Octopus Cleaning

more details in my culinary books published by


Octopus is a formidable ingredient, but must be prepared with care. First of all, if you got a fresh Octopus you need to make it soft or you cannot eat it. The best and easy wayto make a fresh Octopus soft  is to frozen it your fridge – freezer for at least 24 hours, usually two days are better, it depends on the temperature of your freezer. You can get in the market a frozen Octopus which often has a level of quality very close to the fresh one, and also it can be already clean making your work easier, this is the truth.

Today I show you how to prepare a fresh Mediterranean Octopus of a high quality, this one I didn’t put in the freezer before to cook (in the recipes) and it was so tasty, but a little bit hard to bite, but I have good teeth! Look at the picture: the Octopus legs are not too long, shorter and thick legs means better quality, also the dark color is a sign of good taste. instead never buy Octopus with long legs and white color…it will give your stomach hard time for sure.


You can recognize a fresh Octopus because the eyes should still be vivid transparent and the tentacles able to stay attached in your skin! The internal viscera shouldn’t smell bad when cut, and the skin will be firm and soft. The color should be brown-gray stone-pink-red.



I inform you that in this post there are bloody photos related to the preparation of this recipe: if you are sensitive to blood please don’t go further.



First of all wash inside and outside the Octopus with fresh water








then we go to remove the internal viscera, I point with my finger where is the first membrane to cut, between the head and the legs just behind the eyes








using scissors you will cut it








and see in the inside of the Octopus head







you will see where the black sack start, and the connections around it: pick them tight with your fingers and pull out firmly and slowly…







as you can see the black sack didn’t break. If it breacks don’t panic: the black ink can be washed off with water plus it is edible… you continue to pull the viscera….








…and pull slowly…








…until you have everything in your hand….








….everything pulled out from the head will fill your hand.







If the Octopus is too slippery to be kept in your hands, running water will help you during this operation







This removed viscera have to be wasted. After the removing of viscera you go to wash the internal part of the head, which is empty now.







with the scissors cut through the eyes, keep under the running water to avoid to splash the material everywhere…








pull out of the eyes the “humor vitreo” (material from the inside of the eye)






also you must remove the “parrot-beak” using a knife








do this operation slowly and with care…..






….avoiding to cut your fingers!








the “parrot-beak” is composed by two parts kept together by a muscle which is like a ball, this is very tasty when cooked!





now, make a cut on top of the head!








so the air will be pushed out by the boiling water….







wash again very well the Octopus, clean the tentacles from impurities








and now your Octopus is ready to be cooked! go to see in the recipes page ….











Recipes: Cooking Foods Italian Style – Octopus Cleaning

more details in my culinary books published by



Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen

 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen

 We will make a sweet preparation: Pear & Cheese Pie


Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen

 Ingredients: (8 portions)

Wheat Flour: 9 onces (250 grams) – Sugar: 12 onces (350 grams) I use brown sugar (not refined)

“Ricotta” Cheese: 1 pound (500 grams) – Yeast: 1 and half ounces (50 grams) 

Raisins 9 ounces (250 grams) – Milk –  – Butter: 3 ounces (80 grams)


Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen














put some warm Milk and the Yeast in a tea cup adding a pinch of sugar to speed the process

mean time you will put the raisin in to warm water or fresh lemon juice… or liqueur (rum is fine)…







 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen



 separate the white and red of the Eggs











with a wooden tool mix the Flour and the whites of the Eggs in a bowl











as the Yeast is ready add it to the Flour and whites of Eggs mixture












 after mixed the Yeast  we will add the “Ricotta” Cheese











 stirring all very well with kindness using a wooden tool












 as the mixture is even and without clots we add the reds of the Eggs and mix using a whip











 as the reds of Eggs are incorporated we need to add the sugar












 I prefer not refined brown sugar, the approximate quantity is 12 onces (350 grams);

you can add more sugar if you like it sweet!






 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen





 take the raisin from the water (or liqueur), squeeze it and add to the preparation











 again whip well to obtain an even distribution of the raisin…









 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen



 to make the cake I prefer to use aluminum pan just butter the bottom and the sides very well











 drop the preparation in the aluminum pan











 let to leaven for 20-30 minutes, you should cover with a dishcloth and keep at warm temperature







 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen



 Two beautiful Pears











 we clean from the skin, the core and seeds….











 slicing in juicy pieces….











 we put apart, wet with a lemon to mantain the color…







 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen





 we prepare a simple syrup with sugar and water: put sugar, let say 3 and half ounces (100 grams in to a pan)











 syrup is usually made in “Bagnomaria” which means putting the cooking pan on top of a pot with boiling wate rinside, this water will cook, through the cooking pan, the ingredients inside it; this kind of cooking is to avoid to burn delicate ingredients like sugar and to not make “mad” certain preparation like Mayonnaise or “Pasticcera” cream….

after the Sugar add some water, may be one glass but in small quantities at time…








 but this syrup is easy to made, I do it just paying attention to not burn it straight on top of electric top…add the water and stirr











 after few minutes the sugar mold in the water












 we need to stirr well to mix properly











 if you stop to stirr you see the sugar boil: you must avoid it becasue the sugar will burn in this way, sticking the bottom of the cooking pan










 instead you continuosly stirring will make a good syrup












 which will reduce it’s volume and the time needed to boil…as you see that stopping for few seconds (3-4 seconds) the syrup start to boil this is the moment to check if is ready 











 just look in the inside of the spoon, you will see from the drops of syrup if it is ready…











 take out from the fire and set apart at warm temperature








 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen



 meanwhile the cakes has leavened, put in to the oven at 250 degree Celsius (480 Fahrenheit)

 it should cook for appx. 25 minutes: but you will check in appropriate manner:

_1 the smell: you will nootice the smell of the cooked cake when is ready…not easy? so do step 2:

_2 check the external color: when is pretty brown on top it can be ready, but you have to do the  step 3:

_3 dipping a wooden toothpicks in the cake: if it come out dry the cake is cooked!






 OK the brawn color and the smell say it’s ready! what to do now?








 Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen



 dip the slices of Pear in to the syrup…











 then distribute on top of the cake












 making a layer of pear on the top…











 just like this!

you can distribute the syrup on the top of the cake, too.









Still you will cook in the oven this to get the perar brownie: do it for  10 minutes, paying attention that the cake do not burn: how?

the smell ! you should immediately notice when the cake start to burn

also you can visually see if something goes wrong, but do no worries: when you took the cake out of the oven it dropped its temperature, so you can still keep at 250 degree Celsius f(480 Fahrenheit) 10 minutes more…








It’s ready! this cake I made was very tasty and we ate everything (I mean two cakes) in less than 20 minutes! (OK we were in 4 ….)







Italian Recipe: Cooking Traditional Vegetarian Cake – Pear & Cheese Pie – “Torta Ricotta e Pere” – Aldentekitchen




Soffritto: the “core” of the secrect!


Al Dente Kitchen – Soffritto: the “core” of the secrect!



Like a building fundation “Soffritto” is the base of many Italian Traditional preparations.

In order to make a good preparation you have to master how to make Soffritto.

Soffritto is the name of many spices and ingredients which have been fried: they must match with the main ingredient of your recipe.

The start is to pour in a fry-pan, pot, oven-tray or any bowl you’ll use to cook, one fluid: I use almost always Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Butter, sometimes Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Prosciutto Fat, few times only Butter; I never used Margarine and Seeds Oils.


Some spices used to prepare Soffritto are: Garlic, Onion, Carrots, Laurel, Rosemary, Parsley, Thymus, but also Sage, Chilly, Basil, Pepper Bells, Myrthus, Origan it is important know that each ingredient has his own time to be added to the soffritto, and needs special care: for example, leaves can burn when fried, to avoid it add to the Soffritto after the other spices are already faded and dose the cooking time and lowering the temperature; Laurel will make drops of hot oil “jumps” over the fry-pan so it needs special caution: add just before to add the main ingredient (I mean the Meat or the Fish or the Vegetables like Tomatoes in Tomato sauce) or before to add wine (if it is needed), usually I like add Laurel after the main ingredient started to roast and I have already poured wine or broth or cream or sauce to the preparation



I almost always use the following ingredients for Soffritto: Garlic, Parsley, Onion and Carrots;







it is important wash and dry the “leaves” ingredients whenever they can contain impurities, like Basil and parsley;









it is important to peel the skin of “tuberous” ingredients (Garlic, Onions) or to scrape off the skin surface (Carrots) or clean it with a small soft brush or a wet rag (Mushroom & Truffels)






always cut the “roots” off and waste the dry or damaged skin

Vegetables “Tubers” have to be chopped in small pieces;

Leaves can be cut or not, for example I use to add whole Laurel, I like whole Basil, I chop Sage  and Parsley





a simple Soffritto is made with Garlic, Onion and Laurel fried in Extra Virgin Olive Oil







a more sophisticated Soffritto is made frying first Carrots and Onions…..







…after the Carrots and Onions faded add Garlic and leaves…






also here before I fried Carrots and Onions, adding later Garlic and Parsley







usually I start to fry Zucchini or Pepper Bells or Egg-Plants without oil, this because I have to dry their water out with the heat, after they dry and fade, often taking in some spots brown color, I will add a small quantity of oil;

Egg-Plants peculiarity: if you do not pay attention Egg-Plants will absorb the oil like spunges!




here after Garlic & Parsley, adding some butter I avoid to burn Laurel and Pine-Cones…








…and last to go in the Soffritto are the delicate Mushrooms!









I invented (at least i never heard before!) two basic mixture with the food-processor which you can keep in your fridge:

1_Garlic and Parsley in the food-processor are first chopped…..






….then envased and covered with E.V.O.Oil,







2_Carrots and Onions chopped in the food-processor….








…envased and covered with E.V.O.Oil;

this two mixtures (see Section: “Preparations”) are very useful when kept in fridge and used at the moment!







after the Soffritto ingredients faded you can pour White Wine or Vinegar or Broth or Cream or sauces….please do not add Balsamic Vinegar!

A good quality of Balsamic Vinegar is ALWAYS expensive, kindly show respect to this “Prince Of The Ingredients” buying only a good quality.





Let’s go to see a complicate Soffritto now!

We have got Pepper-Bells, Carrots, Onions, Garlic;

do a good peeling of the skin of Garlic and Onion, so you do not have to wash them,

scrape off the Carrots skin then wash in fresh water,

after washed with fresh water the Pepper-Bells will be opened to discard the seeds and the stem,

here you see Tomatoes, too: are not for the porpouse of today, they can also be used for Soffritto, usually we use Dry Tomatoes for it, you could also use small quantity of a fresh one, for your information I do not peel Tomato skin and I don’t discard Tomato seeds becase they are full of vitamins and then I like them!


start pouring the Carrots in the hot E.V.O.Oil








as Carrots fade I add Rosemary and Laurel Leaves…you say it is wrong! no, nothing is wrong because i am ready to add…..







…the Pepper-Bells! Pepper-Bells have a lot of water inside, the heat make Pepper-Bells to release humidity with the consecuence that Laurel and Rosemary will not burn.







as Pepper-Bells start to fade I will add the Onions (this Purple Onions from Tropea, Calabria, are fantastic!) let the Onions fade…






then add the Garlic!

You will let cook until all the ingredients fade, you can add Salt if you like, Salt mantain the Vegetable color, ususally I put Salt later, after adding the main ingredient…let see … this Soffritto is for which preparation….mmmh…YES! ….Haunted Chicken…(see Section “Recipes”)….





Remember: the Soffritto is ready when all the ingredients faded; ingredients are poured in different times starting with those containing more water and ending with the more dry and sensitive to heat (like leaves and Mushrooms) so the more delicate will not burn.

Soffritto is needed for almost any recipes, as I explain in my book: Cooking Foods: Italian Recipes Secrets “Soffritto” 


Find my soffritto book in !!!








HURRICANE SAUCE FOR YOUR BEEF!!! …..on these days I am sailing in the Caribbean on board a luxury ship! The bad weather news describes the hurricanes as a strong force which persist in the area, wrapping and melting all things around just alike a …..SAUCE!

The sauce I go to explain is what I call “la bastarda” because I straight mix flour in to the sauce in order to reduce the liquid, this make the sauce velvety and its aroma to persist on the tongue for long time, then if you add one abanero pepper to the sauce sure you gonna have an hurricane in your mouth!

Here below I avoid the spicy abanero, you should try this sauce even mild, still I reccomand the spicy one to get new emotions….









With high fire, broil straight on the pan the filet mignon, trun it up to all its sides just to amke the whole surface broiled.







Prepare garlic (eventually add the abanero here) chopping it small and set aside.








Prepare dried mushrooms to soft in warm water.







Drop a bit of balamic vinegar on the meat.







after few seconds drop soya sauce on top: two spoons.







Cover immediately with a lid: let cook two minutes.







Open the lid.








Add the garlic (eventually the abanero too) and turn the meat upside down.






Add two laurel leaves.







After squeezed-em from the water, chop the mushrooms. Drop on the meat.








Add half glass of withe wine.






Cover and cook two-three minutes.







Open and turn upside down the meat.







Add one glass of tomato juice. Turn upside down.








Add two-three pinches of marine salt to the sauce.




Add half glass of the water remained from the mushrooms. Turn upsdie down the meat.







You can add a bit more of withe wine now, half glass.









As the sauce starts to boil add one spoon of flour type “00” is fine.







Using a fork mix the flour to the sauce, turn the meat upside down two three times.






This is the hurricane !







Now you try the sauce to check the density and the salinity: if necessary add more salt (one pinch a time then mix and check again).








Drop one bunch of pine-cones in to the sauce.







Cook other three-four minutes to dry the sauce as you like it.






Then is ready, stop the fire.







Keep aside until it became just warm, it will be easy to cut and serve.






















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