Calamari are extremely tasty but can be awkward to cook as they vary by age, freshness and ways of cooking. The adage is that you either cook them very quickly on high heat or slow cook them on liquid. We all love crispy deep-fried Calamari in batter or patted in flour, semolina or breadcrumbs. Stewed slowly in wine and loads of garlic they are to die for.
600g Calamari cleaned and cut into squares 2 large cloves Garlic minced 1 chilli finely chopped 1 glass White Wine 1 tsp Kunserva/ tomato puree 1 small can Tomato Polpa 1 large fresh Tomato grated 3 tsp Capers 1 tbs + EV Olive Oil 250g Sedani
Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan on a medium high flame. Add olive oil and saute the calamari until they start to colour. Add the garlic, chilli and tomato puree and toss for a minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and add the tomatoes. You can use either fresh or tinned subject to availability, I used both. In winter sometimes tomatoes are grown indoors and are not as tasty. Grating them through the big holes separates them from the skin and creates a passata.
Lower flame, add the capers and simmer while you cook the pasta. Roughly it should be ready in twenty minutes but check at intervals as cooking time can vary Bon appetit
Now that summer is coming to an end and we’re witnessing some wild thunderstorms it is time to change tack to more heartwarming invernal concoctions. This stew balances the bite of chili and ras il-hanout with the sweetness of sweet potato. I served it with rice but spelt could be a nice alternative.
1 Onion chopped
1 large clove Garlic chopped
2 Green Peppers sliced
1 Sweet Potato cubed
2 Zucchini cubed
2 bird’s eye Chilies
2 Tomatoes chopped
1tbsp Tomato Purée (Kunserva)
1 tsp Ras il-Hanout
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 cup Water
Sweat the onion with a 1/4 tsp salt till it starts to soften. The salt helps draw out the moisture and cooks it faster. Add green peppers and stir for a few more minutes. Add garlic, chili, coriander powder and ras il-hanout. Add tomato puree and stir for another minute. Add tomatoes sweet potato and zucchini. Add a cup of water and lower the heat to a simmer. Add peas and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for half an hour. Meanwhile prepare rice or spelt
500g Black Eyed Beans soaked overnight and cooked till tender (usually around 1 hour)
1 Large Squash
1 Large Sweet Potato
1 Red Pepper chopped
6 Onions thinly sliced
3 Cloves Garlic chopped coarsely
4cm Ginger Root
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Bay Leaves
500ml Vegetable Stock
2 tsp Hot Chilli Oil
1 Tin Tomatoes Polpa
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 180°c
Peel squash and sweet potato and cut into bite-sized chunks. In a baking tray mix with a little oil and season with salt and pepper, ground coriander and ground ginger. Bake for around 30 minutes, stirring once half way through, until they start to speckle with gold.
Meanwhile saute the onions, garlic, pepper, bay leaf and chili oil and grate the ginger. When it starts to get fragrant ( a couple of minutes) add the stock and simmer for 40 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes cooking for a further 25 minutes.
Add the squash and sweet potato and simmer for 5 minutes.
Finally stir in the beans and the spinach, simmering until the spinach wilts and the flavours blend, around 10 minutes.
This is one of those dishes that taste even better the next day as the flavours blend so keep any leftovers.
I made this traditional recipe for some very special guests. I will introduce them in good time. Ratatouille is a stew of the vegetables that are so prevalent in the Mediterranean in the summertime; aubergines, courgettes and sweet peppers, which originated in Nice and has been adopted by the Provence region. The circumstances dictated that I prepare a copious amount of the stuff, roughly enough for twelve portions but it is easy enough to calculate how much you want to prepare. Just keep in mind that you need approximately an equal amount of all the vegetables, maybe slightly less tomatoes.
The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.
—Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon
Italian Zucchini 1Kg
Green and Coloured Peppers 1 Kg
Onions 1 Kg
Tomatoes 900 g
Garlic one head
Olive Oil 300 Ml
Basil a bunch
Salt 2 tsp
pepper 1/2 tsp
Wash the vegetables and cut them into 2.5 cm cubes. Start sauteing the vegetables one by one on a high heat in a large skillet or wok. Start with the aubergines,
brown them in some of the oil and move them with a slotted spoon to a casserole dish or a large pot. Repeat the process with the courgettes, making sure there is enough oil as the aubergine absorbs a lot of oil. Repeat with the peppers and onions together.
If your skillet or wok is too small do them in batches so you can get enough heat. Once these vegetables are all in the pot add the tomatoes, peeledContinue reading Ratatouille→