1 octopus, about 3 pounds
4 medium to large potatoes
Thaw octopus if necessary, either for 24 hours in refrigerator, or for a few hours in a couple of changes of cold water. With scissors, remove skinny tips of tentacles and, cutting through webbing that connects them, separate the 8 tentacles and discard head. (Alternatively, you can cook the octopus whole and cut it up after cooking.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it well. Put octopus in water and, when it returns to boil, cover and adjust heat so water simmers gently. Cook an hour or so, until octopus is tender. Meanwhile peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Lower them into water and cook until tender, about a half hour. Remove if they’re done before octopus, and keep warm.
When octopus is tender, remove it and drain. Put potatoes on a platter and cut octopus into pieces (again, a scissors is easiest); top potatoes with it. Drizzle all liberally with smoked paprika, olive oil and coarse salt, and serve hot or warm.
Yield: 8 servings.
Per serving: 286 calories; 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat; 16 percent calories from fat); 28 g carbohydrates; 95 mg cholesterol; 586 mg sodium; 32 g protein; 2 g fiber.