Fresh Stuffed Calamari with cured pancetta, rice, onion, garlic and bell pepper in a wine-paprika tomato sauce for an ultimate Surf and Turf dinner!
Catalan gastronomy has a ton of “Surf N Turf” dishes. For example, meatballs with squids, chicken and crayfish, mar y montaña paella, etc. They call it: Mar y Montaña, which translates to sea and mountain. The Catalan surf and turf inspire this recipe, although instead of traditional ground meat, I’ve used a stuffing of rice, cured pancetta, onion, garlic and bell pepper dice.
The sauce is an easy traditional one of fried tomato paste, garlic and paprika with a touch of white wine (or water) and a few leaves of parsley for the final touch. This recipe is my twist on the Catalan Surf and Turf; it’s not a traditional dish but similar in taste.
A Catalan Tradition
Thanks to their geographical situation, the Catalans are the kings at mixing up sea products and land ones. The first “Mar y Montaña” style meal I’ve ever tried in Catalonia was the Albondigas con sepia, meatballs with cuttlefish. Initially, it was an odd combination for me, but I understood why those dishes were so popular in Catalonia once the first bite was in. They are fantastic!
I know many skeptics are out there, and it’s okay; surf and turf isn’t for everyone, but before you say “no” for eternity. I highly suggest you try any great Catalan dish, and if you are still not convinced, you’ll be able to surrender… I think Catalans make those combos of proteins as no one else does!
Other Catalan Dishes
- EGGPLANT, PEPPER AND GOAT CHEESE COCA (CATALAN PIZZA)
- PAN CON TOMATE – PA AMB TOMAQUET
- RABBIT WITH CHOCOLATE SAUCE
Mar y Montaña Stuffed Calamari
- 6 fresh medium calamari
- 100 g cooked rice
- 60 g cured pancetta
- 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
- 1/4 red bell pepper (diced)
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- salt and pepper
- 100 g tomato paste
- 75 ml white wine (or water)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- salt and pepper
- Start by cleaning up the calamaris (check this video for more details).
- Cook the rice in water or use leftover rice.
- Cut all the ingredients for the filling.
- In a small pan, soften the onions for 5 minutes in some olive oil at medium-high heat.
- Add the garlic, pancetta, pepper, salt and pepper and mix it with the rice.
- Stuff the squids pushing down gently to fill the whole pocket, and close the end with a wooden toothpick.
- Mix all the sauce ingredients at the bottom of an ovenproof pot.
- Add the stuffed calamari over the tomato sauce and top with olive oil and salt.
- Cook at 180°C (350F) for 25 minutes until the calamari turns golden.
- Serve with a few freshly cut parsley leaves.