Empanadas de Pulpo (Octopus Pie Pocket)

Makes 10-12 Empanadas

In Spain, canned and jarred octopus is a luxury. To use it in empanadas is a delicious way to enjoy the delicacies of the Valencian waters, even from afar. Empanada dough is slightly sweet and thick in texture and does a brilliant job of absorbing the sauces form the inside without becoming soaked.


For the empanada dough

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
¾ cup water (ice cold)

For the empanada filling

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans of pulpo (in oil), chopped
3 medium plum or Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
Butter or oil
Flake sea salt


In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly with crumbles about the size of peas. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and water. Add the liquid a little bit at a time to the flour-butter mixture, mix it up with your hands or a wooden spoon until a smooth dough forms, a few more tablespoons of ice cold water may be needed. Form the dough into a flat disc shape about the size of a small salad plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Pre-heat oven to 400°F.

In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Divide the dough in half, and roll out on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin. Roll into a large rectangular shape. Cut the dough into 4 5-inch squares. Place a dollop of the filling in the center of each square. Fold over the dough around the filling, and moisten borders with wet inger tips. Roll the edges of the border from one side of the empanada to the other in a crescent, making sure just to roll the very outer edge of the border. Place each empanada on a greased baking sheet. Poke one or two holes, using the tip of a knife, in each empanada to aerate them. Sprinkle with flake sea salt.

Bake empanadas for about 15 minutes, take out of the oven, and brush with a little olive oil or butter. Bake again for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.