Region: Monastic Community of Mount Athos.
The Cuttlefish Casserole is a Greek Orthodox Lent classic: easy to make, a tasty, hearty, one-pot recipe full of good things for one’s own health. Enjoy!
Cooking time: approx. 60 min
You need: two pots and an oven pan or dutch oven
- 1 Kg (2 Lbs) cuttlefish.
- 500g (1 Lbs) orzo.
- 3 onions, diced.
- 200ml extra virgin olive oil.
- 2-3 Tbsp tomato paste, diluted in a little water.
- Red pepper.
- Black pepper.
- Turn on the oven to preheat at 200C or 390F.
- Pour approx. 1 Lt of water in a pot, put it on the stove, turn the fire on to high and bring it to a boil.
- Put the cuttlefish in a strainer or colander, immerse it in the hot water and blanch the cuttlefish in the hot water.
- Take the cuttlefish out of the water but do not discard the water. Keep it for later.
- Pour the olive oil into the other pot, turn on the fire to medium and add the onions.
- Saute the onions until they are golden.
- Add the diluted tomato paste, the spices and a little salt.
- Taste and add the 1 Lt of cuttlefish-water you did not discard earlier.
- Let the mixture come to a simmer.
- Move the contents of the pot to an oven pan or a dutch oven.
- Add the orzo and the cuttlefish and stir well.
- Put the pan or dutch oven on a lower rack, in the oven.
- Cook for approx. 40 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the orzo has absorbed all the liquid.
Notes on Cuttlefish Casserole
A few words about Mount Athos
Mount Athos, also known as the Holy Mountain, is the epicentre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism and home to 20 monasteries with a strong monastic community since the 12th Century A.D.
The monks of Mount Athos do observe their fasts and lents for about, or more than, 200 days per year. As you may well discover, “fast”, “lent” and “monasticism” are not necessarily synonyms to tasteless, unimaginative or sloppy food. 🙂