Kalamarakia Yemista is stuffed calamari or squid. It's delicious. This is a recipe I cook for my family when I fancy calamari but not fried. My kids love it. It's also one of those Greek meals that is better left to sit for a while for the flavours to mingle and the stuffing to set a little.
It creates a lovely, intense rich sauce, ideal for dipping fresh Greek bread into.
1 1/2 kg squid - medium size
freshly ground salt and pepper
75 ml / 5 tbspn olive oil
150 ml / 3 1/2 fl oz tomato juice OR
2- tbspn tomato puree diluted in 150 ml / 3 1/2 fl oz warm water
150 ml / 3 1/2 fl oz olive oil - extra
2 large onions, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
170g / 6oz short grain rice
3 tbspn fresh parsley, chopped finely
1 tbspn dill, chopped finely
1 tbspn pine nuts, lightly roasted
2 tbspn tomato puree diluted in 180 ml/ 6 fl oz / 3/4 cup warm water
150 ml / 5 fl oz red wine
You will need toothpicks to secure the stuffing inside the calamari
Pull the head of each squid off the body.
Remove the sac and everything from inside the body and clean very well, it's best to hold it under running
water to get it completely clean.
Cut the tentacles from the head, discard the head.
Clean the tentacles, then chop them up and put aside for use in the stuffing.
Season the calamari bodies with salt and pepper and place in a bowl or dish (not the one for baking).
Mix the 75 ml olive oil and tomato juice or diluted puree and pour over the squid.
Leave to marinate.
Heat the 150 ml olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions and garlic until golden.
If you wish to, add the chopped tentacles and fry until they take a colour.
Add rice and stir until the rice is coated in the oil.
Add parsley, dill and pine nuts.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add tomato puree diluted in warm water. Stir.
Simmer uncovered until all the liquid is absorbed.
Grease a deep baking tray.
Taking one squid body at a time, fill the bodies about 3/4 full with the stuffing mixture.
You need to leave a little room as the rice will fluff up.
Secure the calamari closed with a toothpick.
Place squid upright in the deep baking dish, packing them closely together.
Pour over them the red wine and the olive oil and tomato juice mixture the squid were marinating in.
Add enough boiling water to cover the squid.
Bake in a preheated oven 180 C / 350 F / gas 4 for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours or until the squid are tender.
The sauce should have reduced substantially and become a lovely thick sauce.