Octopus with red onion of Tropea

Ingredients for 4 people

The octopus:
500 g of octopus, a bay leaf, 4 g of garlic, 2 stalks of parsley, salt and pepper.
Cook the octopus with all the ingredients in plenty of water and let it cool in its cooking water. Drain it well and cut it into pieces. Put it in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, oil extra virgin, thyme and grated lemon peel.

The pepper sauce:
1 red pepper, 1 yellow pepper.
Cook the peppers in the oven and peel them still warm. Divide them into two parts, cut into cubes and season with garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and basil; the other is hot whipped by pouring a thread of oil extra virgin, salt and pepper

The red onion jam:
100 g of Tropea red onion, 20 g of sugar, 3 g of pepper, 30 g of red vinegar, a sprig of thyme.
Chop the onion and cook it with salt to make it expel all the liquid. Add the sugar, pepper and thyme, continue to cook slowly and finally pour the vinegar.

The sweet and sour red onion:
300 g of red onion, 225 g of water, 175 g of sugar, 175 g of red vinegar.
Cut the onion in the shape of petals and cook with all the ingredients under vacuum for three minutes to steam.

Grilled red onion:
80 g of Tropea red onion, 10 g of EVO, a sprig of rosemary, salt and pepper.
Pour the ingredients into a bowl and with this mixture flavor the onion and grill.

Red onion chips:
40 g of Tropea red onion, a teaspoon of cornstarch, salt and pepper 1 g. , vegetable oil 10 g.
Cut the onion thinly, season with all the ingredients and fry in oil.

Composition of the dish:
Pour the two pepper sauces and a little pesto at the base of the dishes. Arrange the octopus, a few pieces of potato and the various onion preparations in sweet and sour, grilled, confit and chips. Complete with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
The red Tropea onion is, without a doubt, the most unique of the many varieties of onion I have used in cooking. I would define it as a presalted onion» as grown near the sea.
It is grown in the area of the medium-high Tyrrhenian coast between Nicotera and Campora San Giovanni. As already mentioned the particular climatic and chemical conditions of the soil, humidity, temperature and light make this onion particularly sweet.
They are picked by hand in two stages. Those to be preserved are picked when the bulbs are a good size and the neck is an intense red colour. They are left in the field to dry for at least eight days. Onions and spring onions, to be eaten fresh, are picked when the tips are still green and the necks start to turn red.

The Tropea onion is considered the red gold of Calabria and is appreciated throughout the world as sweet, crispy and naturally red. Its flavour is due to the consistent presence of sugar including glucose, fructose and sucrose. This is why I nearly always use it raw because it is the best way of enjoying its flavour.
Moreover, raw is the best way of assimilating its almost miraculous properties, in fact it contains around 20 calories per 100 grams of fresh product and vitamins C and E, iron, selenium, iodine, zinc and magnesium.
The most delicious aroma to come out of a kitchen is, without a doubt, sautéed Tropea red onions. Why not try this appetising way of eating Tropea onions: peel and cut lengthways into segments.

Tropea reminds me of my adolescence. Sundays at the seaside with my family. Its natural beauty is due to its particular morphology.
It is divided into two parts: the higher area built on a tuff reef overlooking the sea where most people live and where daily village life takes place and the lower part called the «marina» on the Tyrrhenian Sea and Port of Tropea.
Tropea is a small, attractive and mysterious town that is not only worthy of interest for the beauty of its sea but also its historical, cultural and social heritage.
The historical centre is made up of eighteenth and nineteenth century aristocratic buildings on clifftops. Even the gates to the palaces, representing the aristocratic families, are an example of local craftsmanship.
Chef Luigi Ferraro
Born in Cassano Allo Ionio, but describes himself as a world citizen. He lives and he works wherever his career takes him: from Sharm-El-Sheik to Stuttgart, Bangkok, London, Paris, George Town, St Petersburg, New York amongst many others. After five years in Moscow and almost two in New Delhi where he fulfilled the role of Italian Chef at the “Sorrento”, utmost elegant Italian Restaurant at the luxurious Shangri-La’s-Eros Hotel, Chef Ferraro has recently landed at the Gulf Of Oman to revamp the Capri Court, Italian Restaurant at the lavish Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa.