Ithacan Octopus Capama

This octopus stewed in tomato sauce from the island of Ithaki in Greece is richly savoury and only very mildly fishy.

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1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium octopus, about 3 pounds, cleaned
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
2 cups coarsely chopped ""wild"" celery (with leaves)
2 red onions, halved and sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup chopped, peeled plum tomatoes
salt and pepper


  • Coarsley chop celery
  • Halve and slice onions thin
  • Peel and crush garlic
  • Chop tomatoes

1.  Heat olive oil in a large heavy pot and cook the onions, celery and garlic over medium heat until soft, about eight minutes. Stir them while they cook.

2.  Add the octopus, cover, and lower heat. Cook for 25 minutes.

3.  Remove the octopus and cut into eight pieces. Place back in the pot.

4.  Add the bay leaves, tomato and wine.

5.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and continue cooking, covered, for another 45 minutes or so, or until the octopus is very tender and the sauce thick.

6.  Season with salt and pepper and serve hot, cut into large pieces.