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Bucatini Fra Diavolo with Octopus and Breadcrumbs

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Ingredients

2 garlic cloves, shaved thinly

2 fresh, ripe red cayenne peppers, sliced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

12 ounces San Marzano tomatoes, strained and crushed

Fine sea salt to taste

½ pound baby octopus, cleaned into individual tentacles

12 ounces bucatini pasta

4 Calabrian chilies, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

12 leaves basil, torn

1 lemon, juiced and zested

Breadcrumbs for garnish (recipe follows)

Breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed whole

¼ cup stale country-style bread, crust removed, crushed in food processor

Pinch chili flakes

Zest of 1 lemon

Fine sea salt to taste

Directions

  1. Place garlic cloves and cayenne in a wide pot  with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Place over medium- high heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a simmer.  Add octopus and cook for about  45 minutes, or until fork tender.
  3. Once octopus is cooked, cook the pasta  until slightly under al dente.
  4. Strain pasta and add to the braised  octopus-tomato mixture.
  5. Add Calabrian chilies, remaining olive oil,  butter, basil leaves, and lemon juice.
  6. Divide among 4 plates, topping each with breadcrumbs and lemon zest.

Breadcrumbs

  1. Place butter and olive oil in a sauté pan with  the garlic. Place over medium-high heat and bloom  the garlic until golden brown.
  2. Remove garlic and add breadcrumbs. Toss  frequently until golden. Season with chili flakes,  lemon zest, and salt. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cool, store in a sealed container at  room temperature.
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