Calamari is a very popular dish in Spain and is made in many ways. The most popular is calamares ala romana which is batter fried calamari. This style is a healthier style and the sauce is delicious for dipping into. It takes more time to clean the calamari than to actually cook it! If you feel you cannot deal with cleaning the calamari dont worry, in many supermarkets they sell precleaned calamari rings or pieces. Just buy that and cook it 🙂 This recipe can also be made with shelled prawns or fish!
300 grams of cleaned calamari, cut up
8 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped using GARLIC PRO PEELER AND CHOPPER
1/2 cup of chopped parsley using NITU DIDI MAGICAL SCISSORS
a pinch of salt to taste
1 cup of extra virgen pure spanish olive oil
juice of half a lime
1/2 teaspoon each of black pepper and hot smoked paprika powder
2-3 dried birds eye chillies, broken if you want it hot ( i did not add but you can)
a small pinch of sea salt or to taste
Mix the garlic, parsley, olive oil, lime together and whisk for a few minutes.
Heat a good quality non stick pan (i used my cook n serve ceramic pan) till hot. Add the calamari and the birds eye chillies and cook on high heat till the calamari starts to shrink and leaves a lot of liquid. Add the black pepper and smoked paprika and then add the infused olive oil. Cook on high heat till you see the sauce thickening slightly. Take off heat and serve immediately in the pan itself. This is best eaten with french baguette dipping the bread pieces into the delicious sauce!
NITU DIDI TIP:
I used baby calamari to make this. Baby calamari is very tender and cooks in no time.
How to clean a calamari? Let me try and explain. Take the calamari in your hand and peel off the purplish skin it has from all sides. It peels off easily. Remove the eye, i actually removed the eye and tentacles as its quicker and easier but the Spanish just remove the eye. I then put my fingers into the calamari and removed everything from the insides. There is a transparent boney thing in it, thats to be removed too. Then i cut the calamari and washed it properly removing everything. I am quite finicky about sea food and like to clean it properly. Some calamari have a lot of sand in them and thats not good for us.
Sounds complicated? Well… practice makes perfect but if you want to make this dish , just buy cleaned calamari from the supermaket. If your calamari turns chewy its either you have cooked it too long or bought a quality that is not tender.
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