Baby Octopus

in a Saffron and Sweet Pepper Brodetto with Scallion Crostini


Preheat oven to 400.


Place baby octopus in a stock pot with two wine corks, then fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook the octopus until tender, about 30-45 minutes. When tender, remove the octopus from the water and set aside.  


In a large bowl, toss the bell peppers, whole garlic, and fennel bulbs with olive oil, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Place the peppers, garlic, and fennel in a roasting pan and sprinkle with saffron. Roast in the oven until the peppers and fennel become soft, about 20 minutes. If the peppers start to brown before the fennel is soft, simply remove the peppers and continue to roast the fennel until soft and golden.  


Using a vegetable juicer, juice the peppers and garlic together. (If you do not have a juicer you can blend the peppers and strain through cheesecloth.) Season the pepper brodo with salt and pepper to taste. Once the fennel is cool enough to handle, julienne into 1/4-inch strips. 


In a small bowl, mix the chopped scallions with 1/4 cup of extra virgin oil.


Place the Tuscan bread on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until golden brown. 


In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 tablespoon of olive oil. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper and place in the the pan, cooking for about 1 minute on each side.  Then add the onions and sliced garlic and sauté until the garlic begins to soften and become translucent. Add the octopus, fennel, olives and deglaze the pan with the white wine. Add the pepper brodo and bring to a simmer.  


Using a slotted spoon, place the ingredients in a serving bowl then carefully poor the brodo into the bowl. Spoon the scallion and oil mixture onto the toasted bread and serve on top or on the side of Baby Octopus with Saffron and Sweet Pepper Brodetto.