Squid and chorizo with black olives and red pepper

Squid and chorizo with black olives and red pepper

A Year In My Kitchen

This lovely inky, unctuous stew is very satisfying to eat, especially when served with garlicky, chewy toast. I have at different times varied the ingredients, adding large cubes of potato, blanched kale or spinach, even substituting the chorizo with mussels or clams. A dollop of saffron mayonnaise or a spoonful of lemon-infused or basil oil stirred in at the end gives the dish a wonderful vibrancy.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg baby squid
400g chorizo sausage
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stick, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 thyme sprigs
4 bay leaves
1 small dried red chilli
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, finely pared zest
1 red pepper, halved, cored, deseeded and cut into strips
350ml red wine
400g can good quality chopped tomatoes
12-18 little black olives

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
4-6 slices chewy, peasant-style bread
1 garlic clove, halved


  1. Clean the squid by pulling the tentacles and head from the body. Cut the tentacles from the head, discarding the head. Remove the transparent quill from the body and the soft, gooey matter. Rinse the body pouch and tentacles gently under cold running water, drain and set aside. Slice the chorizo on the diagonal into 1cm thick slices.
  2. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Crumble in the dried chilli and season with a good pinch of sea salt. Twist the orange zest with your fingers (to release its fragrance) and drop into the pan. Cover and sweat over a very low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper and sweat for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine and turn up the heat so that it bubbles and reduces slightly. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. The idea is to reduce the sauce and intensify the flavour.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. When smoking, add the chorizo slices and brown quickly on both sides. Tip straight into the tomato mixture, along with the orange, smoky-flavoured oil. At this point, add the olives and simmer for a minute or two. Check the seasoning – you will probably need just a little black pepper and perhaps a small pinch or two of salt – just to bring it all together.
  5. Pour off excess oil from the frying pan, then place over a high heat. In small batches, quickly brown the squid in the very hot pan for no more than a minute, then drop them straight in the inky stew.
  6. Turn off the heat while you grill the bread on both sides. Rub the toast slices with the cut garlic clove. Ladle the stew into warm bowls, discarding the herbs and orange zest. Serve straight away, with the hot garlicky toast.
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