Spice Road Spices
Artisan Spice Merchants
The Art of Flavour
Basque Country Calamari with roasted Red Peppers, Eggplant and Pimenton Paprika
A further example of the wonderful world of Basque food.
2 x Medium large red peppers
1 x Medium Eggplant
350g x Fresh Calamari rings
1 x Medium red onion - loosely chopped
4 x Medium garlic cloves - loosely chopped
1 x Full teaspoon Spanish Pimenton Smoked Paprika - if you like, add a little more to taste
1/2 x Teaspoon black pepper
1 x Small pinch of chilli flakes
This recipe would work nicely without salt, however, if salt preferred add to your taste or diet.
Lightly coat or spray the red peppers and eggplant with olive oil and place in a medium hot oven and bake untill the peppers have crinkled with slightly blackened skins and the eggplant has visably "collapsed".
Then remove and allow to cool by placing the peppers and eggplant in a kitchen bag or cover with a cloth to allow the steam and heat to loosen the skins without burning then remove the inside seeeds and pulpy bits from the peppers. We found it nice to leave a little of the black portion of the skin for colour.
Next take the roasted eggplant, cut lengthwise and with a spoon remove the soft inside ready to add to the pan with the peppers.
In a pan, fry down the onions and garlic until fully caramelised for full flavour (this is important) then add the peeled roasted peppers and the eggplant to the pan, add the black pepper, paprika and salt, if preferred and gently stir before placing the ingredients in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce without being too runny.
Return the sauce to the pan, stir to mix with the onions and garlic and when hot add the calamari, stir again and braise for approx. 20 - 25 minutes until the calamari is soft. During the cooking it is a good idea to stir a little and test the calamari so it is not overcooked.
Important: Take care when braising the Calamari - it can easily toughen. The hot peppers and eggplant can easily burn when peeling. Take care.
Comments: When tasting this recipe one of our "tasters" thought the additional Paprika (see ingredients) was needed. Really all this is a matter of working to your own taste.