Italian Beans with Spicy Alaskan Octopus

A taste of Italy, by way of Alaska. Combining multiple Caputo’s house favorites, this dish is all about simplicity, elevated. Enjoy fresh, Alaskan octopus from our friends at Wildfish Cannery, marinated in Bullwhip Hot Sauce from their neighbors at Barnacle, sitting atop perfectly seasoned beans. Take these flavors to the moon with a heathy drizzle of our favorite condiment grade olive oil from Italy: Viola Colleruita. This one was going to be kept a secret for our Culture Club subscribers, but it’s too damn tasty not to share. You’re welcome.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak your beans one of two ways:
    1. Soak beans for 12-24 hours before cooking in cold water
    2. Add beans to a medium pot and completely cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid and turn off heat. Let beans sit in the hot water for 1-2 hours.
  2. Once beans are soaked and ready to cook, heat 2-3 tablespoons of cooking olive oil in a separate, medium pot.
  3. Peel and smash two of the garlic cloves and add to oil in the medium pot, stirring occasionally until browned and fragrant.
  4. Add beans and their liquid to the pot with garlic. Cover beans with more water if needed (you’ll want 2-3 more tablespoons than what covers the beans). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. This will ensure the beans don’t break in a rolling boil.
  5. Skim off any bean scum, then add more cooking olive oil to create a layer above the simmering water. Now’s a great time to also add a couple pinches of salt, a few parsley sprigs, and any other ingredients you want to flavor your beans with. (We’re building some layers, here!) Suggestions: bay leaves, a charred lemon half, other herbs, peppercorns, etc.
  6. Allow the beans to simmer for 30-45 minutes until tender. Be sure to test three beans before making your determinations – (never trust just one bean!). Once done, drain and discard (or save) your bean liquid. (People who save bean liquid for other soups or simmers go straight to Heaven!)
  7. While the beans are still steaming, grate two garlic cloves directly into the bowl of beans and stir. Adding to hot beans will heat them just enough to remove the fresh bite, but still keep them quite flavorful.
  8. Grate the zest of one lemon into the beans along with the juice of the same lemon. Add chopped parsley and season with salt, pepper, and a glug of Viola. Stir, taste, and adjust your seasoning. Set aside.
  9. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat and crack open your tin of octopus. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil to the skillet and then the pieces of octopus. Save the juices from the tin! We’ll use those in just a moment!.
  10. Allow the octopus to warm through and begin to brown. Remove after a few minutes, turn off the heat but leave the skillet in place, and cut any large pieces of octopus into bite sized chunks.
  11. Take the skillet off heat and pour in the liquid from the tin, stirring frequently to allow the juices to thicken. Pick up any undesirable straggling bits of octopus.
  12. Heap your delicious beans onto two plates, top with octopus, then pour the thickened juices over each bowl. Finish with another drizzle of Viola and lemon wedges.
  13. Lastly, taste the vibrant flavors of this dish with friends or family – or keep it all to yourself!

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