Mediterranean Calamari Stew
500 g/ about 1 pound calamari tubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions
3 garlic cloves
1 or 2 chili peppers, to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes, 400 g/ 14 oz
3 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons capers
10 large black olives
baguette, ciabatta or other white bread to serve
Clean the calamari tubes and slice them into rings, about 2 cm/ 0.8 inch thick. Finely chop the onions, garlic cloves and chili.
Heat the olive oil in a thick bottomed pan, add the onions, garlic and chili and saute them for a few minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the calamari tubes, the tomatoes, the thyme sprigs, left whole, the bay leaves and some salt and pepper.
Cover the pot, turn the heat down and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring from time to time.
In the meantime finely chop the capers, pit the olives and cut them into rings. Add them to the stew and continue cooking on a low flame, this time uncovered, for further 10 to 15 minutes. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves and serve immediately.