Maltese traditional recipe: Stuffat tal-qarnit (octopus stew)

This recipe includes both nuts and dried fruit and is a rare example of Siculo - Arab influence in Maltese cuisine.


  • 1 kg of Mediterranean octopus ( ideally par boiled as this saves time and less risky).
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato concentrate
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small dry red pepper
  • 200 grams of carrots chopped
  • 200 grams of potato chopped into one inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of sultana raisins
  • 100 grams of shelled walnuts
  • Sprigs of thyme and marjoram
  • Red wine
  • Olive oil
  • salt


  1. This stew closely follows the cooking process of the octopus sauce for pasta.
  2. The carrots and potatoes should be included with the concentrate after the frying stage, when the ingredients really begin to stew, the walnuts and raisins towards the end when the sauce is left to reduce over a very low flame.
  3. Feel free to add water, a little at a time, if you feel the consistency has thickened too much before the octopus and vegetables are tender enough.
  4. A crusty loaf of country style bread is the best companion for this dish.

Did you enjoy reading this recipe? Would you like to try out more Traditional Maltese recipes? Let us know by sharing, rating and commenting, below.