Calamari (or squid) is one of my favourite seafood choices! Everyone knows in Greece that the most traditional way to eat calamari is deep fried or grilled. The thing is that there are more than two ways to enjoy it. It cooks really quickly, in a couple of minutes, or else you need to simmer it for a really long time. If you miss the perfect timing, it can be disaster as it would have the texture of a rubber thing…

The following recipe is one of my favourite ways to cook it as it is a proper meal and not the kind of meze as we usually have in mind when referring to calamaries in Greece. It is a delicious calamari stew with orzo pasta, orange juice and balsamic vinegar. It is a delicious idea if you are a true seafood and pasta lover.


  • 1 kg cleaned calamari frozen or fresh
  • 2 medium onions, grated
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 30 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 garlic clove grated
  • 2 lorel bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 50 ml olive oil
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large and deep non-stick pan, add the onion and garlic and stir them well to be coated in olive oil and sautee them for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Cut the calamari in large pieces and add it to the pan. The calamari needs to be stirred and cooked almost for 3 minutes.
  3. In a glass pour the orange juice and mix it with the balsamic vinegar and the tomato paste. Pour this mix over the pan and stir carefully. Add the lorel bay leaves and simmer for 10 minutes more.
  4. Add the orzo pasta inside the pan and a glass of hot water, sprinkle some salt and papper to taste and simmer until the orzo for 10 more minutes in medium heat.
  5. Remove the pan from the stove, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and set is aside. This process will help the orzo to absorb all liquids.
  6. Serve it warm or in room temperature! Enjoy!


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