A taste of Sitges: Octopus with ‘espigalls’
Bad times for lyricism in tourism. Because what we want is to explain things to you so you can come and enjoy them with us. And the 'bug' keeps putting a certain distance between us. But when it comes to optimism and desire, nobody can beat us here in Sitges (maybe a tie at best). That's why we want this post to taste like us, like our land and like our sea. That's why we've put our aprons on and are writing to you from one kitchen to another. From ours to yours. Sorry, let's be more specific about that: from Antón Rafecas' kitchen, at La Nansa Restaurant, to yours.
This culinary idea we bring you tastes just as good as it sounds: octopus with 'espigalls' or 'green cabbage shoots', originating from the Garraf region. In fact, it's worth dedicating a few lines to this seasonal vegetable (November to February), which is characterized by its jagged leaves and its "flavorful and high-protein" taste, according to Antón himself. You can confirm and enjoy this in various dishes to be eaten with a spoon (stews), rice dishes or in creamed soup form.
Our chef has chosen rock octopus to accompany the ‘espigalls’ "because this way we have a surf and turf dish, very representative of Sitges". Local cuisine when we need it most, when we can't enjoy it together. That's the attitude (both Anton's and ours).
Come on, let's get started with the shopping list (for 4 people):
- 1 Kg of Espigalls
- ½ kg of potatoes (preferably from Garraf)
- 1 kg of rock octopus
- 600 gr. of bacon
- Oil, salt and pepper
Is your apron on? Well, let's begin. First, we cut the potatoes and boil them. Then, in the same pot, we add the 'espigalls' for them to boil as well. Once the process is finished, we pour off the water and set the pot aside.
Time for the bacon, which we can prepare either in the oven at low temperature or in a pan with oil.
In another pot we also boil the octopus.
We take the potatoes and the 'espigalls' and put them in a pan, where we chop up and blend the mixture with a wooden spatula until we see a crunchy layer start to appear. Then add the octopus, already boiled, to the pan and leave it until it turns slightly golden.
With everything ready, we plate the octopus, the potatoes and the 'espigalls' with the bacon. Open your mouth, close your eyes and you'll find yourself a little bit closer to Sitges ;)
Antón, and what do you recommend as a starter?: “Well, one of our specialties: battered artichokes, which are also seasonal produce and which we hope you will be able to taste with us here at the restaurant in December”. A shared desire: to get together, eat and walk around Sitges very soon. That's our favorite recipe. Mind you, it’s very filling... with pleasure!