Chef’s ‘fast’ cataplana recipe

By Sarah Young

Thursday June 6 brought the unlikely pairing of World Superbike riders and Portugal’s Chef of the Year 2012 to Portimão Marina for the preparation of a typical Algarvian dish, the Cataplana.

Chef Hans Neuner of the 2-star Michelin Ocean Restaurant at Vila Vita Parc, near Porches, welcomed the WSBK riders outside Portimão Museum where he introduced some of the world’s most famous motorbike riders

to the Algarve’s most famous dish: the Cataplana.

The Superbike riders were divided into two groups for a master class to reveal their hidden talent for cooking, amongst them BMW Motorrad GoldBet’s Marco Melandri, a keen “chef” who, according to his charming fiancé Manuela Raffaetà also attending the event, enjoys cooking when he gets the opportunity. Here is Hans Neuner’s cataplana recipe for the day.

||  Octopus and Sweet Potato Cataplana


1 red/yellow/green peppers (peeled and cut into strips)

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 0.5 cm thick slices)

1 octopus 1kg to 1.5kg (pre-cooked and cut into 1cm pieces) – seasoned well with salt

4 tomatoes (peeled and deseeded, then cut into strips)

2 garlic cloves (peeled and cut into slices)

2 large shallots (peeled, halved and cut into thin strips) 1litre of fish stock

1 bunch of coriander

Seasoning to taste: white wine, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil


First, heat the Cataplana vessel, pour in olive oil and sauté the shallots in the middle part of the Cataplana (do not brown).

Fry the sweet potato slices in a circle around the edge of Cataplana. Turn the potatoes and brown the other side.

Add the tomatoes, strips of peppers and garlic slices and sprinkle with sweet paprika .

Make sure that it does not burn, and finally pour in a generous dash of white wine (cover the vegetables with the wine).

Reduce until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Now add the octopus, fill up with fish stock and bring to the boil again.

Add the freshly cut coriander, salt and pepper and top off with a little lemon juice.

Close the lid and place in the oven at 200ºC for 10 minutes.

Serve the Cataplana at the table, sprinkling with freshly chopped coriander.