Hotter days are here and we start fancying more than ever our ħobż biż-żejt… and we just love that octopus in garlic to go with it, especially when we boil some vegetables and want to give the plate that extra taste to die for.

So here is how to prepare your octopus in garlic, because you surely can buy it from local supermarkets or tinned, but the taste will never be the same as with homemade… and by the way, this is also lovely with fresh salads!

octopus in garlic


  • 500 g octopus, either small or large
  • 4 tblsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes or peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tblsp. honey or sugar
  • 2 tblsp. chopped fresh dill
  • 4 tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tblsp. capers and slices olives (optional)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salty water to a boil. Toss the octopus into the boiling water, return to a boil and cook for 1-2 minutes, then remove. Discard water.
  • Cut the octopus into large pieces and saute in olive oil over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another minute or two.
  • Add the wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir well and let it cook down for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chili flakes and bring to a simmer.
  • Add about a teaspoon of salt and the honey or sugar. Mix well, cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • At 30 minutes, add the capers and olives if you are using them, plus half the dill and half the parsley. Check the octopus — sometimes small ones will be tender in just 30 minutes.
  • If they are still super-chewy, cover the pot again and simmer for up to another 45 minutes.
  • When you think you are about 10 minutes away from being done, uncover the pot and turn the heat up a little to cook down the sauce.
  • To serve, add the remaining dill and parsley and black pepper. Eat this with pasta or bread either hot or at room temperature