NPR logo Angelo Garro's Cinnamon Octopus

Angelo Garro's Cinnamon Octopus

One of the Courses from His Christmas Eve Seven Fish Dinner

Angelo Garro has a tradition of celebrating Christmas Eve with his friends by preparing a Seven Fish Dinner. The Greeks brought this dish to Sicily when they colonized the island. The Seven Fish Dinner has become a southern Italian tradition from Naples. It consists of seven courses of fish prepared in various ways. Here is a recipe for one course.

Angelo Garro's Cinnamon Octopus


More About Angelo Garro

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1 large beautiful yellow onion

2 lbs. fresh baby octopus or adult octopus (if you buy frozen, make sure it's fresh frozen.)

Clove garlic

Ground cinnamon

Bay leaves whole

Extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Chop 1 large beautiful yellow onion finely. Sauté onion in 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in medium size sauce pan. Clean and chop 2 lbs. baby octopus (or octopi) into 1/2-inch pieces. Sauté octopus pieces with onion. Add a clove of finely chopped garlic. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Add 2 bay laurel leaves — whole.

Cover one inch above octopus in good red wine (approximately one bottle of red wine). Simmer octopus until tender, approximately 1 1/4 hour. If the sauce starts to cook down and gets low, add a little bit of spring water. Bring to simmer again. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over "crostini," thinly sliced toasted bread or crackers, or mix into pasta or serve with rice.

"Whatever you serve — crustaceans or fish — for your seven courses, as long as it's fresh you'll make a perfect 'Seven Fish Dinner'." - Angelo Garro.

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