Spetzofai is a classic sausage and pepper stew from the Volos and Mt. Pelion region of Greece. Sometimes you can find the dish with fish. I adapted it to the needs of Lent and created a cuttlefish and roasted red pepper version of this recipe. It’s great as a main course or as a meze and it goes with crisp Greek white wines as well as with ouzo.
Makes 4 servings
1 ¼ lb. / 600 g fresh or frozen cuttlefish,
½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped or sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup canned, chopped tomatoes
¼ cup of ouzo
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 small orange, thinly sliced
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 red peppers pepper in olive oil or brine, or 4 peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips of 5 cm
(If chrisimoioume fresh squid, cleaned: Remove giblets and kokkalaki like the black membrane. Cut into strips of 3-cm. If we use frozen, we can take already cut into strips of squid.
Heat olive oil in a deep skillet or wide pot over medium heat and cook onions, stirring, until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and stir.
Add the squid, stir. Add the tomatoes and ouzo. Raise the heat slightly to absorb the alcohol ouzo. Add the oregano, oranges, pepper or cayenne, and vinegar and cook the squid for about 30 minutes until soft. About 10 minutes before removing from heat, add the peppers. Season to taste and serve.