Here is a fast and easy recipe from the bountiful Greek cuisine which is just perfect for Lent!
You will need 1 kilo of small-sized calamari, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, salt, pepper and oregano (optional), as well as tomato paste.
Wash and clean the calamari thoroughly. Take extra care to remove the head (the part with tentacles), which will drag the innards along with it. The main body (the white tube) must be cleaned well. Take out the transparent cartilage which looks like plastic and then carefully clean whatever is left inside of the tube – usually a gelatinous substance.
Then wash the tube under a stream of water in order to thoroughly clean the interior. If you want, you can get rid of the skin covering the tube, but it makes no difference if you leave it on. In the recipe we’ve left a few calamari with the skin on so you can notice the difference.
The head must be cut from behind the eyes up to the tentacles. After that, remove the “beak”, the cartilage located in the centre of the tentacles.
After you’ve cleaned and washed the calamari, put them in a deep pan, add one or two bay leaves and a cinnamon stick and place them on the hob at the minimun setting. Don’t add water or oil! They will fry in the water that comes out of them.
After 30-40 minutes, when they’ve left enough water to almost completely cover them, take out the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick and put a new cinnamon stick in. Then add the tomato paste, salt, pepper and oregano. Stir and let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. The salt, pepper and oregano are optional.