There are many recipes in Portugal which are devoted to the octopus. Arroz de Polvo is one of the most popular and can be found on most menus across Portugal.
The actual recipe varies from restaurant to restaurant, but the recipe below is based on a traditional favourite, blended to enhance the taste of the octopus and the flavour of the sea.
- 1 kg octopus
- 1 cup red wine
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
- 1 large green capsicum, chopped
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- chilli powder, to taste
- 500 g short grain rice (preferably arborio rice)
- Precook octopus in red wine with a little water. The octopus will exude liquid so that you are likely to end up with more cooking liquid at the end. Retain this and add water to make it up to 2½ cups. Cut the drained octopus into small pieces.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan; add a chopped onion and cook gently, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, and pepper. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder to taste. Cook for a few minutes longer.
- Add the cooking liquid from the octopus and bring it to the boil.
- Add rice (preferably a short-grain risotto rice like arborio) and bring back to the boil, then turn the heat very low and put the lid on the saucepan.
- After 15 minutes, stir to ensure the rice is not catching on the bottom of the saucepan. In 5 minutes more, taste a grain or two to make sure it is soft. The rice should still be quite damp.