The most important thing to remember when serving squid or cuttlefish is to cook it either very quickly or very slowly, otherwise it becomes tough and chewy. For this recipe, I've cooked it quickly, to ensure it's really tender.
Serves 4 600g fresh squid, cleaned
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
50-75g dry breadcrumbs
Handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 free-range egg
Sea salt and white pepper
Plain all-purpose flour for dusting
Olive oil for frying
Chopped parsley for garnish
For the sauce 2tbs olive oil
1 banana shallot, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
5-6 ripe tomatoes, skins and seeds removed
750ml fresh fish stock
Good pinch of saffron
50g ground almonds
Sea salt and ground black pepper
Finely chop the squid and mix with the chilli, garlic, breadcrumbs, coriander and egg. Season well with the sea salt and white pepper.
Lightly oil your hands and roll the mixture into small balls, about 30g each. Chill in the fridge while you make the sauce.
Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the shallot and onion for 10 minutes until it's lovely and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more, then add the tomatoes and stock and simmer for 20 minutes to reduce to a thick sauce. Soak the saffron in two tablespoons of hot water for a few minutes, then mix with the ground almonds to form a paste and add to the pan with plenty of seasoning. Simmer for five minutes to thicken. Set aside.
Dust the squid in flour. Heat a good amount of oil in a nonstick pan and fry the squid for two to three minutes, turning until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Add the squid meatballs to the sauce and heat through gently, then scatter with parsley and serve.
Recipe taken from Basque: Spanish Recipes from San SebastiÁ¡n and beyond by José Pizarro. Photography by Laura Edwards