This recipe uses a favourite of Catalan cooking, squid, but in its small version, which are called calamarcets. You should be able to find them at your local supermarket, and it’s possible to ask the fishmonger to clean them for you. However, if you’re feeling up to the challenge, you could clean them yourself (instructions below). The quantities given will make enough for appetisers for eight or four starter servings.
- 1 kg calamarcets, as small as possible, cleaned and thoroughly dried, cut into small pieces with the tentacles left whole
- Olive oil
- Coarse salt
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or minced
- Several sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
To clean the calamarcets, grip the tentacles and use them to pull out the insides. Cut across above the eyes and discard everything below. Flex the body gently and the spinal structure, like transparent plastic, will pop out. Wash the squid well under running water and cut up into small pieces, but make sure you keep the tentacles whole.
In a large skillet or pan, heat the oil until almost smoking. Scatter the coarse salt into the pan, wait until it’s dissolved and then add the squid. Cook very quickly for about one minute, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
Add the garlic and parsley, toss everything together for a few seconds and serve.
• This recipe comes from My Favourite Food, a charity cookbook written by Jacqy Harding.
First published March 2009.