Calamari with Sweet Pepper Sauce

I am a huge fan of calamari since it is a delicious, sustainable, low fat, high protein food (disclaimer: it’s a little higher in cholesterol, so don’t eat it every day…can’t all come up roses, can it?). I’m also seeing that it’s becoming much easier to find in grocery stores…you can usually find the tubes and tentacles in the fresh seafood section, and since they’re kept separate, you can decide which you want based on your preferences. Since the textures are different, I like a nice mix, but skewed a little towards the tentacles for this dish. The tubes are great for stuffing though, so don’t dismiss them!

Now, if you’re like most of my wife’s family, and you consider squid to be useful only as bait, this whole recipe isn’t for you…but still, give the roasted red pepper sauce a try! It is easy, it uses one ingredient (that’s right…none of that preservative garbage you find in store bought sauces), and it pairs very nicely with chicken, pork, pasta, as a sauce for your burger, or even as a fun addition to tomato sauce.

Tonight, I’m pairing this with Crispy Saffron Rice Cakes and sauteed onions and tomatoes, but it would also go well with wild rice, mashed cauliflower, and almost any green veggie (sauteed spinach, roasted asparagus, and even a field green salad come to mind).

Time: 45 Minutes (most of this is cook time while preparing the red peppers sauce). If you’ve got the sauce pre-made, this is 15 minutes max.

Ingredients:

  • Calamari tubes and/or tentacles (4-6 oz is a good portion starting point)
  • Red, Yellow, or Orange Pepper or Sweet Pepper Mix (I’m using the sweet peppers since that’s what I had in the fridge)
  • Lemon

Method:

  • For the Sauce
    • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
    • Slice your pepper(s), and wrap them tightly in a foil pouch
    • Put the foil pouch in the oven for 30-35 minutes (enjoy the emerging smell)
    • Remove the packet from the oven, and carefully open (watch out for steam)
    • Pour the contents of the foil into a food processor, blender, or Ninja, spritz in a little lemon, and blend until smooth
  • For the Calamari
    • Clean your calamari (check to make sure all beaks and hard pieces are removed), and pat dry. If using tubes, slice into rounds.
    • Heat some oil in a pan
    • Either bread or don’t bread your calamari (I’m going without breading for speed and because I’ve got a nice bit of rice on the plate already)
    • Cook the calamari in your pan for 1-2 minutes, stirring intermittently until they are done, but not overdone (although your dentist will appreciate your business)
  • Plate the calamari, top with the sauce and any garnish you want (I’m using green onion ribbons), devour, and enjoy!

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