I had a craving for calamari/octopus stew. I have had this Maltese-style in the past, and also something similar in Greece years ago. But I always did my own thing, as I found what I cooked to be preferable and magical in terms of ingredient and flavours over the years. Then I became vegan, but I did not lose my passion for the flavours from the past. Here I recreate the dish with heartfelt hope and much enthusiasm, and the taste is a sublime rich stew, full of texture and colour, with the most incredible, memorable flavour when married with spaghetti. You will love this, and if you make it for your loved ones or guests, well, they will love you all the more !
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large king oyster mushrooms (choose the thick stem ones)
4 to 5 cloves garlic, cut lengthways
1 huge onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 cups dry white wine
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp miso
2½ cups tomato pulp (mine was freshly made)
2 Tbsp tomato puree
1 cup peas (I confess to using tinned processed peas)
¼ tsp mixed spice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp curry powder
a pinch of white pepper
2 medium/large potatoes – pre-boil these, cut each in 4, and set aside
around a dozen Mediterranean black olives – be sure to get them ready salted
a drizzle of agave or maple syrup
freshly chopped parsley for garnishing
chilli flakes for garnishing
- Prepare your mushrooms buy cutting the stems lengthways to form a circle around 1/4 an inch thick. Work your way up all the stems.
- Then, using a tiny cookie cutter, make a hole in the middle of the mushrooms – do this to all the mushrooms. Do not discard the centres, just marinate in vegan fish sauce, and then you can make a batter, and create a wonderful calamari frittata.
- Next, in a separate frying pan, heat up some olive oil, and fry your hollow vegan calamari making sure they become golden, and gently turn them around. Set aside for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile process your onions in a food processor, or finely chop them. Heat up your oil in a large saucepan, fry your onions, add your garlic, then mix in your spices, and half the wine (be sure your onion is properly cooked before doing so).
- Now add your tomato puree, and stir well for a couple of minutes. Then spoon in your calamari fried circles, slowly add your fresh tomato sauce, and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, except for the garnish, and simmer gently for around 20 minutes.
- Boil your spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet until ready (al dente is always preferable)
- Spoon your spaghetti into a serving dish, drizzle a little olive oil, and spoon on your sauce.
- Garnish with chilli flakes and parsley ! JOY !
If you like this recipe, after you’ve made it could you please scroll down to the comments box below and let me know how you got on. Thanks !