Pasta fredda con polpo e fagioli

Pasta salad with octopus and beans   Our original home cooking

This pasta salad (insalata di pasta) with octopus and borlotti beans is very simple but long to do. For a fast recipe you have to use pre-cooked frozen octopus and canned beans but it tastes less ;) I tried to vary beans but I always had the best result with borlotti. Pair a white wine such as Vermentino.

Italian pasta salad with octopus, beans, ripe tomatoes
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Pasta salad with octopus and beans

Ingredients / Serves 4

  • 250g (8 3/4 ounces) dry egg pasta
  • 800g (1 3/4 pound) fresh octopus
  • 500g (1.1 pound) fresh cranberry beans (borlotti beans) in the pod
  • 400g (14 ounces) ripe but firm tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soya sauce
  • Salt
  • Time:
    preparation: 30 minutes
    plus octopus cooling time
    cooking: about 90 minutes
    total: 90 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 509 (kcal) 26 % GDA (*)- 2128 (kJ)
    Protein: 35.0 (g) 70 % GDA
    Total fat: 11.8 (g) 17 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 66.8 (g) 25 % GDA
    Sugars: 9.4 (g) 11 % GDA

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Recipe for pasta salad with octopus and beans

Preparation and cooking

  • - Prepare the octopus you've bought.
    Clean your octopus and put it in salted boiling water.
    Lower heat and simmer, half-covered, until tender, at least 50 to 60 minutes.
    Turn off the stove and let your octopus cool in its cooking liquid.
    At this point skin your octopus and cut it into small pieces.
    Transfer in a large bowl.
  • - Prepare borlotti beans.
    Shell beans, wash and put them in a little pan.
    Cover them with cold water, add bay leaf and bring to the boil.
    Remember: add no salt!
    Lower the flame and cook until tender.
    Generally 40 to 50 minutes are enough.
    Add other hot water if necessary.
    Drain them very well and add to your octopus in the bowl.
  • - Complete the dressing for your pasta salad.
    Wash and peel tomatoes; dice them.
    Add aromatic herbs, tomatoes, soya sauce and olive oil to the other ingredients in the bowl.
    Season to taste with salt and stir.
  • - Cook the pasta you've chosen.
    Meanwhile cook pasta al dente stage.
    Drain and stop the cooking under the running cold water.
    Drain it very well again.
  • - The last step.
    Transfer pasta into the bowl.
    Season to taste with salt only if necessary.
    Stir accurately but with delicacy.

Just before serving

  • - Wait at least for an hour before serving to let all the ingredients flavor.
  • - You can prepare this dish ahead.
    Chill until serving but bring it back to room temperature before serving.
    It's enough to take it away from the fridge an hour before serving.



  • - You can use dried aromatic herbs istead of fresh ones (2 tablespoons of chives and 2 tablespoons of parsley).
  • - You can also use frozen beans (250g - 8 1/2 ounces) instead of fresh beans.
    If you have no time of cooking them use 1 400g (14 ounces) can beans.
  • - Who likes the taste of raw onion can add it to the other ingredients.
  • - Carlo and I generally use egg gramigna but you can choose your favorite short pasta for this summer dish.

Menu planning

  • - Serve this pasta salad as one-plate meal in summer (it serves 4) in your family lunch.
  • - It is so tasty you can prepare it for alfresco dinner with other courses (it serves 8) or in a meal, buffet-style for a ceremony or a special occasion with many other courses (it serves much more people).
  • - This summer dish has a delicate taste and so, despite the presence of octopus, you can accompany it in a full menu with meat dishes too.

Healthy eating

  • - Pasta salad with octopus and beans has high amount of calories and protein. So if you serve it in your family lunch you have to complete your meal only with raw seasonal vegetable if you are still hungry. I suggest vegetables for there are no vegetables in this pasta salad. Besides you should choose very carefully your dinner courses, preferably based on vegetarian recipes.
    Here are the doses per head: 60g (2.1 ounces) pasta, 120 to 140g (4 1/4 to 5 ounces) beans in the pod, 200g (7 ounces) fresh octopus, aromatic herbs, 100g (3 1/2 ounces) or more ripe tomatoes, onion and less than 2 teaspoons olive oil.


What's the right wine for " Pasta salad with octopus and beans "?

Our suggestion is: Vermentino (white wine of Liguria in Italy)