I have a oldish Spanish cookbook with fantastic recipes in it that are great as tapas. I’m working my way through it pretending I’m in Barcelona. This recipe from that book has the sweetness of oranges which work really well with squid and the smokiness of the smoked paprika giving it a real Spanish vibe. I’ve tweaked it slightly and replaced the sugar with maple syrup so it’s low glycemic. You can eat it as tapas with other small plates or combine it with pasta as I did. I bought my black pasta from my Italian deli but it works equally well with plain old standard spaghetti or Linguine. It’s perfect for a dinner party or a date night. My friend Timna says it’s up there with my crab Linguine as one of the best things she’s ever tasted.
Serves 4 people or 2 hungry people
750g of cleaned small squid hoods and their tentacles (you can use defrosted squid tubes or rings from the supermarket freezer which need no preparation)
3 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
2 teaspoons of finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon of orange juice
1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of olive oil (plus more for later)
1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
250g Black spaghetti, black rice noodles or buckwheat noodles
Cut the squid down the centre to open out and cut into two inch pieces. Make sure the beak isn’t still attached to the tentacles and put with the the squid. Combine the squid, garlic, paprika, orange zest, orange juice, vinegar, maple syrup and olive oil in a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for at least three hours or overnight.
Thoroughly drain the squid, reserving the marinade for a bit later. Next fry the squid in more olive oil in a large frying pan in batches until cooked through but still tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet in salted water (I put in about two teaspoons at least), drain and keep warm in a serving bowl or on plates.
Add the reserved marinade to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer till reduced and thickened slightly. Add the squid and place on the pasta if using, and sprinkle with the coriander. Serve straight away.