Musky octopus Venetian style

Musky octopus are a part of the Venetian starter consisting of mantis shrimps, cuttlefish roes, shrimps, all stewed and served lukewarm with oil, lemon and boiled potatoes.
Preparazione: 15 min
Cottura: 40 min
Dosi per: 4 persone


Musky octopus, 8
Salt, q.s.
Pepper, q.s.
Extra virgin olive oil, q.s.
Lemon , q.s.


You can cook them with disarming ease: like every delicacy, their secret ingredient is the simplicity of the recipe!

  • Clean the musky octopuses by removing their eyes and mouth. Wash them accurately.
  • In a pan, boil water flavoured with some vinegar.
  • Soak the octopuses one by one, holding them from their sack. Make the tentacles curl.
  • Let them cook for 30 minutes.
  • Cut them in half without cleaning them inside. Dress with salt, pepper, oil and lemon.

In past centuries, Venetians used to prepare musky octopus in many ways: stewed, floured, grilled, cooked in a pan… They are a dish of the so-called “simple cooking”: being often considered a food for convicts and prostitutes, they were usually despised by the noblemen.


The musky octopus has an oval-shaped body with eight thin but long arms, each with suction cups. Musky octopus has a dark colour that tends to brown. The average size is between 15 and 40 cm. It is widespread across the Mediterranean and above all the Adriatic Sea, where half the musky octopus produced at national level are caught. It lives in muddy seabeds, between 15 and 90 meters deep. It is caught with trawls in all seasons.