Thursday, February 2, 2023

Octopus with Polenta and a Rosato from Puglia inspired by The Food Club #italianFWT

Creamy Polenta topped with Grilled Octopus paired with a Rosato from Puglia is a great way to start a meal.

Octoppus with Polenta and Rosato Wine

Join the Italian Food Wine Travel Group as we explore Puglia this month.......

Lynn of Savor the Harvest is hosting our Italian FWT group this month and invited us to join her in visiting Puglia.  We are working our way up Italy in 2023.  We started last month in Sicily and are making a stop in Puglia this month.

Map of Italy
provided by Google Images

Puglia, also called Apulia, is located in the heel of the boot bordering the Meditrranean .  It has beautiful, cliff lined beaches and is known for it's culture and cuisine.

Food Club

I knew very little about the area until, as luck would have it, I decided one night to watch Food Club on netflix.  Food Club follows three women in the prime of their life who have been friends since elementary school.  

They are not feeling very "prime" however.  They are all having a tough time learning to age gracefully.  Marie and her long time husband are given a gift of a Cooking Class by their children for Christmas.  This leads to Marie's husband admitting to an affair and asking for a divorce.  Shattered, Marie turns to her long time friends, Berling and Vanja, who convince her to go on the vacation and accompany her on the trip.  It is a "coming of age" story and we learn that coming of age happens numerous times during our lives.

Octopus over Polenta

The scenery in the film is amazing and the storyline had me laughing and crying, sometimes at the same time.  The cooking scenes are incredible and, of course, wine was abundant.  One of the cooking scenes that captured my attention had them making Octopus served over Polenta.  Mine is not quite as beautiful as that on the screen but it was very delicious.

Rosato Wine

The recipe I found at Let it Wine suggested a Rosato wine for the pairing.  I set off to Total Wine where I found this beautiful bottle of  Marchese Di Borgosole Rosato for $12.99.  This is a gorgeous bottle of  wine for this price.  It was soft and floral.  Medium bodied and fruity it is made from the Negroamaro grape, grown almost exclusively in Puglia.  

It was an excellent pairing not only with the first course of Octopus over Polenta but also with the Entree of Meatless Lasagna.

I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else has to say about this beautiful area of Italy.  You will find their thoughts and writings at the following links........

  • Camilla at Culinary Cam sharing a “Killer Pairing: Spaghetti all’Assassina + A Negroamaro from Brindisi 
  • Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog sharing “An Unconventional Style of Primitivo – 2020 Produttori Di Manduria Electric Bee Primitivo” 
  • Susannah from Avvinare tells us about “Primitivo from Gioia del Colle, A Revelation” 
  • Jennifer at Vino Travels discusses “A Rare Puglian Grape – Susumaniello” 
  • Gwendolyn the Wine Predator shares “A Family Tradition: Domus Hortae’s organic wines from the heel of Italy” 
  • Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles reveals “Salice Salentino from Puglia with Ciceri e tria” 
  • Lynn at Savor the Harvest discusses “Negro Amaro Three Ways from Puglia”

Appetizers, Seafood, Polenta, Octopus, Italian
Appetizers, Seafood
Yield: 2 servings
Author: Wendy Klik
Octopus with Polenta

Octopus with Polenta

Creamy Polenta topped with Grilled Octopus paired with a Rosato from Puglia is a great way to start a meal.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 50 MinTotal time: 55 Min


  • 2 small baby octopus
  • 1/2 lemon, quartered
  • 2 small bay leaves or 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 head garlic, cut in half, crosswise
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 servings Instant Polenta made per package directions


  1. Place the octopus into a sauce pan along with the lemon quarters, bay leaf, and garlic.
  2. Cover with water and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place over med heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30-45 minutes, until the thickest part of the octopus is easily pierced with a fork.
  5. Remove from the water and when cool enough to handle, rub off the skin with a paper towel.
  6. Heat a grill pan over med high heat.
  7. Brush the octopus with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sear in the grill pan just until browned but still moist inside.
  8. Divide the Polenta between two plates and top each with an octopus.


Inspired by a recipe found at Let it Wine

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  1. Looks amazing !

    1. Thanks Cathy, it was my first time making it and I was pleased with the outcome.

  2. I added your post to mine. You know that octopus is a family favorite. I'll take Frank's share. LOL.

    1. Thanks Cam. I enjoy octopus as well but will have to stick with fried calamari for Frank.

  3. I think I need to grab a glass of wine and pull up a chair to watch Food Club! Thanks for joining us and sharing the movie, recipe and wine Wendy!

  4. I love octopus and yours looks wonderful Wendy!

  5. Your Octopus dish looks stunning (I love those plates!). I had a wine by that producer also, but I will keep my eyes open for the Rosato. Now I'm off to find the movie to watch!


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