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Sauteed Calamari with Smokey Spanish Romesco Sauce Recipe

A delicious sautéed calamari with Smokey with romesco sauce in a black table.

If anything gets made this weekend, it should be this: Sautéed calamari with crispy pancetta, wilted radicchio, and Moroccan black olives all tucked in nice and cozy like with a smokey Spanish Romesco sauce. Oh yeah, with lots of lemon too, And wine, And damn good friends.

Because really, is there any other kind?

A delicious sauteed calamari with smokey with romesco sauce in a black table.

Sauteed Calamari with Smokey, Spanish Romesco Sauce Recipe

Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4


  • bbq grill
  • steamer
  • Food Processor
  • Pan
  • Spoon
  • stirrer
  • Clean tea towel
  • Knife


  • 1.5 lb squid tubes and tentacles
  • 5 slices of ¼ cut pancetta (you could sub a thick cut bacon here if desired) diced
  • ¼ cup Black Moroccan olives pitted
  • 1 piece Head radicchio julienne
  • 1 piece Lemon for juice and zest  roughly chopped
  • piece Handful of flat leaf Italian parsley
  • piece Handful of toasted almonds or walnuts

For the Sauce

  • 2 pieces red bell peppers medium size
  • 5 pieces Cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 1 piece Medium sized tomato chopped
  • 1 cup sourdough bread cut into 1" pieces
  • cup almonds
  • 1 piece Medium sized onion diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Lil Smoked paprika
  • Lil red wine vinegar to taste
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper


First make the sauce:

  • Turn your BBQ onto medium-high heat. As it warms, toss the whole peppers in some salt, pepper and veggie oil. Make sure it's good and coated on all sides. When the BBQ reaches temperature, toss those babies on the grill. Blacken on all sides, approx 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and place in a glass bowl or plastic bag and cover/seal. Let sit for 10 minutes to steam. This will make it very easy to remove the skins.
  • Once the peppers have steamed, carefully open the bag and remove the peppers. Set aside for a few minutes until they've cooled just enough that you can handle them. Run your fingers all around the outside, peeling off the skin and discarding. Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds (careful - there's probably hot water the vegetable has released in there) and chuck the cleaned peppers in a food processor.
    A white plate and lemons on table.
  • While the peppers cook and steam, chuck a large saute pan over medium heat and once hot, toss in the bread and 1/3 C almonds. Toast until golden and fragrant. Add to the food processor.
    A clover of garlic in a plate.
  • Chuck the pancetta in the hot pan and cook until fat has melted away and it's just under bacon crispy - they'll crisp up further as they rest. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
    Homemade Romesco sauce with parsley leaves.
  • Keeping the fat in the pan, add the diced onion, stirring often until the onions are soft. Massage the tomato paste into the onions along with the tomato and garlic. Cook until fragrant - approx 3-4 minutes. Dump all this, including any remaining sauce ingredients, into the food processor. Puree on high until everything is smooth and well blended. Taste, adding more salt or pepper if necessary. Set aside until you're ready to dish up.
    Calamari on a chopping board with parsley leaves.

Now make the calamari

  • Clean the squid. Give it a very quick rinse and dab try with a clean tea towel. Slice the tubes into 1" pieces and season with salt and pepper.
    A sauteed calamari on a pan.
  • Drizzle a touch of olive oil into that same saute pan and when it's hot and shimmering (not smoking) chuck in the squid, radicchio, olives, parsley, lemon zest and cooked pancetta. Saute about 2 minutes until the squid is more or less cooked through but not rubbery. Chuck in the sauce and heat through for up to a minute.
    A sauteed calamari in a white plate and a glass of wine.
  • Remove from the heat and garnish with remaining toasted nuts. Serve with wedges of lemon, a big loaf of crusty bread, wine and good friends.
    A top view shot of sauteed calamari.
  • Eat
    A portrait of delicious sauteed calamari.
Keyword calamari

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