Spring Pairing Recipes: Verdura Resort

Rocco Forte Hotels

Sicily's south coast, blessed with sunshine almost all year round and bordered by the Mediterranean Sea, is known for its fresh seafood and locally-harvested, seasonal ingredients. 

Verdura Resort’s Fulvio Pierangelini, creative director of food, has a strong connection with the island and conjures dishes that bring its natural produce to life with vigour and vitality. Here he shares his recipe for octopus with potatoes and rocket, for you to cook at home. Enhance its depth by pairing it with a Zafferano or Verdino cocktail.


Polpo con patate e rucola - octopus, potatoes and rocket

Serves four



1kg octopus

400g potatoes

1 bunch of rocket


Salt and pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Hot chilli peppers







  • Peel the head, turn it upside down and clean it, remove the tooth in the center of the tentacles.
  • Boil the octopus by placing it in lightly salted boiling water where you have added chilli, a carrot, a stalk of celery and a small onion. Cook for about twenty-five minutes. 
  • Place the potatoes in a pan, cover them completely with salt flavored with thyme and rosemary. Bake them in the oven at 180 degrees for forty-five minutes.
  • Cut the tentacles of the boiled octopus, season them with oil, salt and pepper and basil leaves.
  • Brown them gently in a non-stick pan until they become crunchy on the outside and soft inside. Remove the potatoes from the salt, then peel and break them with your hands, season with oil, salt and pepper, thyme leaves. Season the rocket with a little lemon oil and salt.
  • Arrange the potatoes and octopus on the plate and garnish with the rocket and a few drops of balsamic vinegar of Modena.

Zafferano cocktail
Cristian Concari, Barman at Verdura Resort

“Inspiration for this drink comes from the quality of the saffron that brings freshness, colour and takes us back into Sicilian history, the saffron /bourbon whiskey combination reserves us a lot of quality.”


15ml homemade saffron syrup

25ml fresh lemon juice

50ml Canadian whiskey aged in a smoked barrel

Saffron pistils

Dried lime


Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice cubes and shake well, then strain it into a Martini glass, garnish with some saffron pistils and a slice of dried lime.


Verdino cocktail

“This delicate cocktail is made with fresh basil from our garden, blended with gin, apple juice and rocket. It will add elegance to your octopus, potatoes and rocket dish and make its freshness stand out.”


15ml homemade basil syrup

25ml green apple extract

50ml dry gin

15ml fresh lemon juice

Fresh basil leaves


Pour all the ingredients in a shaker, fill with ice cubes and shake well, then strain it into a Martini glass and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Discover an array of exquisite dining experiences and exhilarating activities around our beautiful Verdura Resort, nestled in the orchards along Sicily’s magical coastline. Contact  our Concierge on reservations.verdura@roccofortehotels.com or +39 092 599 8001.