Diane Kochilas’s Octopus Stifado ‘Ravioli’

January 20, 2015 Updated: April 17, 2015

Diane Kochilas, the collaborating chef at Molyvos in Manhattan, said, “This dish was born a little by accident, a happy kind of accident. It derives from a classic pan-Greek (that is, not specific to any one region) dish called Ktapodaki Me Kofto Makaronaki (the octopus and short pasta—like ditalini). That dish is one of the classic Greek comfort foods, something kids here in Greece love.”

Octopus Stifado ‘Ravioli’
Collaborating Chef Diane Kochilas, Molyvos

Ingredients for the ravioli:

  • 1 cup fine semolina flour
  • 3/4 all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water

Make the pasta while the sauce is simmering: Place the two flours and salt in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off a few times to combine. Break the eggs over the surface of the flour. Pulse to combine and add the olive oil and water in increments, just until a dough mass forms. Remove it from the bowl of the processor and knead it slightly on a lightly flour surface until it’s firm. Set aside for at least 30 minutes, wrapped in plastic.

*Note: You can make the dough a day ahead, and store it well-wrapped in the fridge.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1/2 medium octopus, beak removed, or 3 small musk octopi (pulpi), cleaned
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 4-5 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 grated zest of a small orange 

Directions for the filling:
Place the octopus in a medium saucepan with the red wine and 1 bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 35-50 minutes, until tender. Remove, cool slightly, and finely chop.

Heat half the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the onion until soft. Add the garlic and stir until soft. Add the spices, tomatoes, herbs, orange zest and salt and pepper. Simmer, slightly covered, until the sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes.

Add the ground octopus to the sauce and cook all together for 5-10 minutes. Let the mixture cool completely.

Directions to fill the ravioli:
Divide the dough into 6 equal balls and pass each through a pasta maker according to individual mechanism’s directions. Shape the ravioli using a pasta cutter.

Stuff the each piece of ravioli with a teaspoon of the octopus filling. Set aside on sheet pans lined with parchment paper and dusted with cornstarch.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup strained tomato juice
  • 1/2 cup stock
  • red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

Directions for the sauce:
Sauté the shallot and scallion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

To complete the dish:
Boil the ravioli in ample salted water. As soon as they rise to the surface of the pot, remove with a slotted spoon, top with the sauce, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, red pepper flakes, and chopped Kalamata olives over the ravio