A collaboration between celebrity chef Mario Batali and restaurateur Joe Bastianich, B&B Ristorante is governed by the culinary philosophy of using quality local ingredients that are simply prepared. This Grilled Octopus dish, a guest favorite, illuminates this philosophy and is easy to replicate at home.
Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali, chef/owner of B&B Ristorante, Las Vegas, NV
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2½ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, divided
1 2-pound octopus, fresh or frozen
1 wine cork
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup sugar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup limoncello
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, finely ground, to taste
1 cup borlotti beans (cranberry beans), cooked
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
½ red onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of chives, cut into 2-inch batons
Preheat an oven to 300°F.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of the red pepper flakes and cook over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the octopus to the pan and cook on all sides over high heat until it has changed color and has released its liquid. Add the wine cork, cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake for 1½.–2 hours, or until the octopus is soft. Cool to room temperature.
Carefully separate the octopus tentacles from the head. Cut the tentacles into 3-inch pieces; cut the head in half.
To make the vinaigrette, bring the lemon juice and sugar to a boil in a small sauce pan and reduce by half to a syrup. Add the remaining 1½ teaspoons of red pepper flakes and let cool. Once cool, whisk in the olive oil and limoncello. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the beans with the red wine vinegar and chopped onion, and allow the mixture to marinate.
To serve, char the octopus over a hot grill until warmed through. Spoon some beans onto a plate, top with the grilled octopus and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the chive batons and serve
Wine Recommendation: Grilled Octopus with Fagioli Marinati and Spicy Limoncello Vinaigrette pairs with Luara Aschero’s 2010 Pigato from Riviera Ligure di Ponente. The vibrant, sweet and spicy octopus is grounded by the earthiness of the fresh shelling beans in this dish, all perfectly framed by the lithe texture of a Pigato.