Calamari with Orzo Pasta, baked (Γιουβέτσι – Giouvetsi)[featured-images]
A traditional Greek way of cooking, Γιουβέτσι-Giouvetsi oven-baked dish. Made usually with beef, chicken or lamb, with the addition of Orzo pasta (kritharaki in Greek). In the days of fasting a nice alternative is to make Giouvetsi with seafood. Super fresh Calamari was available the other day at my fishmongers and I just couldn’t resist the idea of trying it out.
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Calamari with Orzo Pasta, baked (Γιουβέτσι - Giouvetsi)
- 1 kg Calamari , medium to large
- 2 medium Yellow Onions , thinly sliced
- 1 bulb Finocchio , thinly sliced
- 60 ml EVOO , (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- 3 large Horn Peppers , (red and green), diced about 1 cm chunks
- 50 ml Ouzo
- 30 ml Lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons fresh Parsley , finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- 500 grs Orzo pasta
- 1500 ml Vegetable Stock 1000 ml + 500 ml separately, bouillon, warm
- Ask your kind fishmonger to clean the calamari and remove the soft bone from the inside. Cut the calamari in 7-8 mm thickness and the tentacles in 2-3 pieces and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Turn the oven to 200 degrees C, air circulation and element on (not the grill) and put your rack halfway in the oven.
- In a large non-stick pot or casserole add the oil on high heat and a minute later add the sliced onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and add the calamari, continuing and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the peppers and the finocchio along with the salt, pepper and paprika. Stir and keep on sauteing for 5 more minutes. Deglaze with the ouzo and stir for another minute and add the 500 ml of vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Use an oven-proof dish to add the calamari and all the juices, add the lemon juice, the orzo and top up with the rest of the vegetable stock. No need for more salt as the stock is usually high in salt content. Stir and mix well and place in the oven for about 22 minutes. Halfway into the cooking, and 5 minutes before the end, open the oven and stir to avoid sticking at the bottom.
- Take out of the oven when is still juicy, it will continue absorbing its liquids, top with the parsley, mix and serve.