If you haven’t seen the film Groundhog Day, you won’t know what I’m talking about. In summary, it’s about a man who wakes up each morning and experiences the same day over and over and over again. Of course, he learns from his experiences and it all ends well.
When we got back Up the Mountain we were dreaming of months of rest and long lazy days which did not involve DIY, house repairs or anything to do with a paintbrush. There was a slightly damp smell in the house which we put down to the very wet winter which Andalucía has experienced and the fact that our house has been unheated and unlived in for quite some time.
Alas, we were deluding ourselves and some damage caused a few years back by a leak in the roof plus the wet winter has caused a significant amount of damp, particularly in my beloved “despensa” or larder. Today we had to remove everything, including the shelving, from the despensa.
The house is in chaos and we are climbing over things to get from one place to another. It will all be put right soon, I know, but I think we both had a moment or two today of wanting to run away and hide from it all.
Salvation lay in the freezer and with the arrival of Fish Man with fresh calamares. Last summer’s produce was tucked into the freezer and there it awaits us. I cooked a quick peperonata (for which there are quite possibly as many recipes as there are Italian Mammas) and served it with calamares cooked on the griddle pan and drizzled with our olive oil and some sweet balsamic vinegar.
Ingredients for the Peperonata (serves 4) Serve hot or cold
- About 500g of crushed tomatoes
- 1 large onion finely sliced
- About 4-6 large peppers (use a mix of colours if you can) cut into bite sized chunks
- 2-3 large clove of garlic, crushed
- A small glass of red wine (optional)
- Fresh herbs (I used oregano but basil is also good)
- Olive oil
Simmer the garlic and onions in a little oil until soft, then add the peppers. Turn up the heat and fry until the edges of the peppers start to turn brown. Add the tomatoes, herbs and wine (if using) season lightly and simmer for about 30 minutes until reduced and the sauce thick and the peppers starting to melt.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and remove any large pieces of herbs. Great too stirred into pasta but I love it best eaten cold with a little squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of crusty bread.
For a quick lesson on how to clean squid (calamares) if you can’t find it ready prepared, take a look here.
Ok, lunch break over, back to work Chica!