Squid Rings with Leeks and Spinach

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This is a wonderful way of serving larger stuffed squid; when cooked the squid is sliced and laid on a rich red sauce. When preparing the squid save the fins and tentacles and chop to include in the stuffing.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter
  • 375 g (12 oz) leeks, trimmed and cut into 1 cm (½ in) rings
  • 5 cm (2 in) piece fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 750 g ( lb) large squid, washed and prepared for stuffing
  • 125 g (4 oz) fresh spinach, stalks removed, washed, well drained and chopped
  • 50 g (2 oz) pecan nuts, chopped
  • 1 small egg (size 4), beaten lightly
  • Salt and black pepper

For The Sauce

  • 1 large red pepper, halved, deseeded and cored
  • 25 g (1 oz) butter
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 375 g (12 oz) tomatoes, skinned and chopped roughly
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and stir occasionally until softened – don’t let them brown. Add the ginger and garlic, the chopped squid fins and tentacles and the spinach with only the water that clings to the leaves after draining. Stir around over the heat, just until the spinach is limp – if there is a lot of liquid increase the heat and bubble for a minute to reduce it slightly. Remove from the heat and add the pecan nuts, with a good sprinkling of salt and black pepper. Turn into a bowl and leave the stuffing mixture until cool, then stir in the beaten egg.

Hold the squid firmly and spoon the stuffing mixture in, working it down to the bottom. Still holding the squid, stitch or skewer to enclose the stuffing.

Smear the stuffed squid with a little oil, place in a roasting tin and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for 1–1¼ hours.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Whizz the red pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the chopped garlic, the red pepper and its juices, the chopped tomatoes and the caster sugar. Cover the pan and cook, stirring now and then, over a very low heat for 20–25 minutes until you have a fairly thick mush. Remove from the heat and leave on one side.

When the squid is cooked transfer carefully to a chopping board and pour any pan juices into the tomato and pepper sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil, bubble for a minute or two and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour into a fairly shallow, warm serving dish. Using a very sharp knife cut the squid across into 1-1.5cm (½-¾in) rings. Using a spatula, carefully arrange the squid rings, slightly overlapping, on top of the tomato sauce. If necessary, cover with foil and keep it warm in a low oven.

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