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First, let it be known, the original recipe came from the kitchen of Cooking in Sens; the recipe below is a variation. I had about a pound of calamari in the freezer and no good way to use it (other than deep frying which was too much trouble and grease). The stew really hit the spot on a cold, blustery day and the ras el hanout really was special. Because it is such a specialty, I didn’t have it in stock but I found a great recipe online using ingredients already in my cabinet. I included it below the stew recipe. For those who don’t know (like me), ras el hanout is a blend of spices originating from Morocco including cinnamon, clove, and chili powder.

Spicy Calamari Stew

  • 1 lb calamari
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout (see recipe below)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp spicy paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Coriander leaves

Mix the calamari with the ras hanout and set aside. Saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper in the olive oil until very soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce the liquid to half. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaf, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the calamari and continue to simmer for an hour and 15 minutes, until very tender.

Ras el Hanout

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all ingredients. Store in a cool, dry place.