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Venice-style baby octopus with polenta and Australian sprouts

Le ricette alla bùsara sono contese tra le regioni del Veneto e del Friuli Venezia Giulia. Source: Mattia Secchiero

Chef at Gusto Italian Bistro Mattia Secchiero added to his seafood traditional recipe some herbs from Manly, and created a winter special for his restaurant in the Central Coast.

Gusto Italian Bistro at Ettalong Beach specialises in local cuisine from Veneto and Emilia-Romagna regions in Italy.

Here Mattia Secchiero and his partner Carol mix their Italian food tradition with some Australian ingredients.

The 32-year-old chef shared with SBS Italian his restaurant's recipe of the baby octopus "alla busara" - with red sauce - with white polenta and topped with Manly's sprouts.

They are very particular sprouts that grows near the ocean and have an aftertaste of sea. 

Baby octopus with white polenta

Ingredients (for 4 people)

For the baby octopus:

  • 1kg of baby octopus (fresh or frozen)
  • 400g of tomato pulp
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 50g of chopped parsley
  • Black pepper to taste (no salt needed)

For the polenta:

  • 1l of water
  • 200g of stone ground white polenta
  • 10gr of finely chopped rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 5g of butter


Clean or defrost the baby octopus.

In a saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in extra virgin olive oil for 5 minutes and over medium heat (it should not burn).

Add the baby octopus and let it brown for a few minutes. Then simmer with white wine until reduced. Add pepper and tomato sauce, cover and cook for about 2 hours over medium heat.

Once cooked, they should be soft but not flaking. Sprinkle with parsley.

Let's proceed with the preparation of the white polenta. Boil the water with a little oil and salt.

Add the polenta and mix well until there are no more lumps. Then lower the heat to the minimum, cover and cook for 35/40 minutes.

When cooked, remove from heat, add pepper, rosemary and butter. Leave to rest for 2 minutes and mix well.

Serve hot. On the plate, mix all the elements together, to find all the flavours of the sea in one bite.

Buon appetito!

Listen to the interview (available only in Italian):

Dal Veneto alla Central Coast, il mare è nel piatto
00:00 00:00

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