One of my favourite things about going on holiday is getting inspired with new recipes and flavours. Paxos was my first time in Greece unless you count a club 18-30 holiday when I was 18 and just heading off to uni. It was an experience, but hardly a culinary one! I recently blogged Kolokithokeftedes (Greek Fried Courgette Balls) that were on most menus and delicious as a starter or part of Mezze. Biting into these little crispy balls with a hint of feta and plenty of fresh herbs is pure heaven and I can’t wait to make them again!
One of our favourite restaurants in Paxos was Vasillis and we ate there a few times. The food is a little more refined yet still sticking to the classics and we enjoyed dishes such as Octopus Salad, Stuffed Aubergines and Taramasalata but it was the Octopus Orzo that was my favourite. I love Orzo dishes as the pasta feels lighter and is best served with a rich sauce. This dish is my take by using fresh prawns and squid. The squid is beautifully tender and goes well with the prawns that have a little crunch. I keep the tomato sauce simple by just seasoning with a little smoked paprika for some heat and plenty of olive oil before garnishing with some fresh parsley and basil.
- 200g squid (sliced into rings)
- 150g fresh prawns (de-frosted is cooking from frozen)
- 100g orzo
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbpsn tomato puree
- 1 tspn smoked paprika
- 1 tspn chilli flakes
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley and basil (finely chopped)
- 1 small onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed)
- Salt/ pepper
- Olive oil
- 200ml hot vegetable stock
- 100ml white wine
- Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook on a gentle heat for a few mins until the onions are soft and golden.
- Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, paprika and chilli flakes. Mix well and then pour in the white wine. Add the orzo and then pour in the hot stock and bring to a boil before turning down to a gentle simmer. Stir regularly for around 10-15 mins until the liquid has reduced by half and is starting to turn to a thick sauce.
- Then add the squid and cook for another 4-5 mins. Then add the prawns and cook again for just another 2 mins.
- Take the pan off the heat and stir in the fresh herbs, lemon juice and season with some salt and pepper.
- Serve immediately.
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