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Baby Octopus in Tomato Sauce
(Polipetti in Salsa di Pomodoro)

Serves 6

2 pounds baby octopus
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped fresh tomatoes or chopped canned
Italian peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt
6 to 12 friselle (black pepper biscuits) or slices toasted Italian bread

Rinse the octopus and drain well. Remove the hard round beak at the base of the tentacles of each octopus.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the octopus, tomatoes, oil, 3 tablespoons of the parsley, the garlic, red pepper, and salt to taste. Bring sauce to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook over very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.

Uncover the pan and cook for 15 minutes more, or until the octopus is tender when pierced with a knife and the sauce is thick.

Sprinkle the friselle with water to soften them slightly. Divide the friselle, or slices of toast, among six plates. Top with the octopus and sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and serve.

Credits: From The Sopranos[sm] Family Cookbook as compiled by Artie Bucco; Written by Allen Rucker; Recipes by Michele Scicolone

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