Calamari Rice Recipe (Arroz con Calamares)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons
    40 mins

Calamari rice, or arroz con calamares, is a good first course or side dish for a dinner. This calamari rice recipe is easy to put together for anyone who enjoys authentic Spanish cuisine and seafood flavors. In Spain, squid or cuttlefish ink is put into dishes including risotto and paella, and is also in soups.  The English name calamari is derived from the Spanish term, calamar and from calamaro in Italian. The term ink refers to the fluid secreted by the squid. 

This Spanish seafood dish could also be served as a main course, especially if you add a few pieces of a solid white fish like halibut, or a handful of small clams. You could also serve it with a different type of rice, including a black rice. It's always good to have a versatile recipe on hand, and this one is no exception.

Rice with squid has a great seafood flavor without the additional work of preparing a paella, and it could be served as a main course of a light dinner. Prepare this recipe and see if it's a new family favorite.

What You'll Need

  • 5 to 6 small squid, cleaned
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 c. of pearl rice
  • 32 oz. of fish stock
  • A few threads of saffron
  • Spanish virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. can of peas (optional)

How to Make It

  1. Clean the squid thoroughly and cut them into rings. Use the tentacles, but be sure to remove the eye. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Cut the pepper into small pieces.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed large frying pan. Sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat. When the onion is golden, add the red pepper and continue to sauté, stirring often, for about five minutes.
  1. While the onion mixture is sautéing, heat the fish stock in a saucepan, but do not boil the stock.
  2. Add the squid pieces to the onion mixture and sauté for three to four minutes. Add the rice to the frying pan and stir to coat rice with oil. Add more oil if needed and “toast” rice for about two minutes on medium heat, careful not to burn it.
  3. Pour in fish stock, saffron and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until the rice is cooked. Add peas after rice is cooked if desired. They do add some color and nutritional value to the dish.
  4. Some Spanish families prefer "soupy" rice and will serve this sort of dish with broth or "cold" remaining in the pan. If you'd like this to be more of a soup than a drier rice dish, add a bit more fish stock to the pan just before the rice is finish cooking. Otherwise, keep it as is, as a less soupy version.
  5. Remove the dish from the heat and serve.