camargue red rice with squid and orange scented tomato sauce

Camargue is a wonderful area in Southern France with horses, cowboys and a unique rice variety


ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 4€ pp)
  • Salt
  • 200 g Camargue red rice
  • A squid about 600 g
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 leek
  • 1,5 litres vegetable or fish stock
  • 300 ml tomato sauce (passata)
  • EV olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • zest from 1 big orange
  • fresh fennel or dill

Generally, I don´t like integral grains. I know they are healthier than the “white” ones, as their fibres are beneficial for human´s health, but I don´t use them often, even me a pro-healthy food cook. But Camargue´s red rice is very tasty and also very attractive. Its red colour is unique and easily distinguished.

Apart from its famous rice, Camargue also has lagoons plenty of seafood, so I decided to combine the rice with some squids and a relatively simple tomato sauce. By the way, I know that frozen squids are easier to cook, but fresh ones will help us cook a much better dish.

To prepare this dish we have to do simultaneously three things (don’t worry, it is very easy):

a) To cook the squid. We clean a big squid, we remove siphon, head, tentacles and fins and we cut the body to rings. We pat them dry. We preheat a casserole with EV olive oil and we gently fry the rings for a minute or two. We add half litre of the (hot) stock and some salt and we let the squid simmer till very very tender. We must start checking it after 40 minutes, but, it may need more time.

b) To simmer the rice. We bring to boil one litre of the stock, we add the bay leaf and about 30 ml (2 tbsp) EV olive oil. We add the rice, we immediately lower the heat, we half cover the pot and we let the rice cook, till tender but not mushy (about 45 minutes)

c) To prepare the tomato sauce. We cut the leek in fine slices and we sauté it in some olive oil till tender. We add the garlic cloves, minced and after a minute the tomato passata. We salt the sauce and we let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. We add the orange zest and we remove from the heat. We mix the sauce with the squids.

When everything is ready, we drain the rice and we put it in dishes continuing with the squids in sauce. We decorate with the fresh herbs and we serve.

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