ITALIAN RECIPES TRADITIONAL AND CREATIVE
The octopus, widespread and fished all over the world, is the cephalopod more known to the divers: it is rather easy to meet it also in shallow waters in small caves or in very narrow slits of underwater rocks. It feeds basically with small crustaceans and small fishes catched with its arms in the sand, breaking them with its strong beak. The body entirely without bones can reach a length of about 5 feet (1,5 meters) and has changing color for defending itself from enemies, going from beige to white. It has 8 arms bearing strong suction cups. The eyes are at the front part of the head.
In commerce the octopus is available either fresh or frozen and of big or small sizes (polipetti). The fresh octopus is flabby and a little viscid, with a fresh and light smell, the viscera must be thick and pale.
The easiest way for cleansing consists in separating the head from the body, then cut the body with scissors and eviscerate, and remove the eyes and the beak from the head. So done rinse the octopus under running cold water.
For softening the meat you can beat with a meat pounder or freeze for one night and cook without defrosting. You can also buy frozen.
Due to its hard meat the octopus requires a rather long cooking time, from 20 up to 40 minutes, depending from the size. Better if cooked combined with acid elements, useful for softening, like lemon or wine.