A one skillet meal which is so easy and flavourful that you’ll find yourself making it over and over again.
Any meal that can come together in one pot, one pan or one baking tray is a winner in our books. When that meal happens to be delicious, and also requires little to no culinary skill, you know it’s going to be on the menu pretty often. This one skillet meal of calamari and rice also happens to be perfect for periods of Orthodox fasting, when dairy, eggs and meat are usually avoided, but seafood like calamari is perfectly appropriate.
Calamari is basically squid, and it is a pretty available, economical and versatile ingredient. Although we love to prepare fried calamari rings, sometimes we want a lighter version, and that’s when we turn to this recipe.
You may be able to find fresh calamari, but the frozen variety is likely more accessible. You can purchase frozen calamari already cut into rings as we did for this recipe, or whole. Where we live, we can find frozen calamari body tubes which have already been cleaned, meaning that the head and tentacles, and accompanying innards, are removed. This makes preparation very easy. However, if the only way you can find calamari is whole (either fresh or frozen) don’t panic. Follow these super clear instructions on how to clean and prepare whole squid and you will be on your way. For instructions, click here.
Cooking with calamari is a wonderful thing, but can be a little intimidating especially if you are not used to it. The first thing that you need to know is that calamari cooks really quickly; 2 – 5 minutes is really all that it needs. In this recipe, you’ll know that your calamari is done when it turns a very opaque white in the frying pan.
The one thing which can potentially make your dish less perfect than it should be is over-cooking the rice. The total cooking time of the rice will be about 15 minutes, but this will really depend upon the type of rice that you use. For this reason, you’ll see that in the recipe we suggest that you check on your rice every 5 minutes or so, and add more water as you see is required. The end result should be a little saucy; your rice should not be dry.
Calamari with rice
- 400 grams calamari rings fresh or frozen
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dry oregano
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 - 2 cup water
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parley or basil
- 1 lemon
- Rinse your rice and place in a bowl and cover with water. Set aside.
- Rinse and drain the calamari well, then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet and fry the calamari over medium-high heat until cooked through. This will take approximately 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon or spatula remove the calamari from the frying pan and set aside in a bowl. You will notice that there is some liquid in the frying pan which has been released by the calamari. Pour all of this liquid into a measuring cup and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the same frying pan and add the chopped onion, garlic and dry oregano. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 3 - 5 minutes.
- Drain your rice and add it to the frying pan. Cook for a few minutes until opaque. Meanwhile, take the reserved liquid which you saved after frying the calamari and measure it out. Then, add enough water to reach 2 cups. Pour this into the frying pan with the rice and then add the tomato sauce. Stir well.
- Cover the frying pan and cook over low heat for approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Check on your rice every 5 minutes to be sure that there is still enough liquid in the pan. If it appears too dry simply add more water, 1/4 cup at a time.
- After 15 - 20 minutes check the rice for doneness. When the rice is cooked, add the calamari and parsley, or basil to the pan; stir well. Cook, covered, for an additional 3 - 5 minutes so that the calamari is heated through.
- Before serving, add the juice of 1/2 lemon to the pan. Stir to combine.