Octopus stew, known as "Stuffat tal-Qarnit" in Maltese, is a traditional Maltese dish enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It's a hearty and flavorful seafood stew made with octopus, tomatoes, wine, and a blend of Mediterranean spices. Here's a basic recipe for making Maltese octopus stew:
1 kg of Mediterranean octopus ( ideally par boiled as this saves time and less risky).
4 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 small dry red pepper
200 grams of carrots chopped
200 grams of potatoes chopped into 1in cubes
2 tablespoons of sultana raisins
100 grams of shelled walnuts
Sprigs of thyme and marjoram
This stew closely follows the cooking process of the octopus sauce for pasta.
The carrots and potatoes should be included with the concentrate after the frying stage, when the ingredients really begin to stew, the walnuts and raisins towards the end when the sauce is left to reduce over a very low flame.
Feel free to add water, a little at a time, if you feel the consistency has thickened too much before the octopus and vegetables are tender enough.
A crusty loaf of country style bread is the best companion for this dish. This hearty dish is a perfect representation of Maltese cuisine, which combines Mediterranean flavors and local ingredients. Enjoy your Maltese octopus stew with a glass of Maltese wine for an authentic taste of the island.