Squid Rice with Shrimp and Aioli

Squid Rice with Shrimp and Aioli

Daria Souvorova

1 hour minutes
serves: 6-8


I can’t wait to throw a Catalan dinner in the coming weeks, so I am actively exploring Catalan recipes of late. Nico and I loved our trip to Barcelona. The music, architecture, art, and food were all incredibly inspiring, it will be lovely to share our trip with our friends through serving them some Catalan dishes.


I have been particularly interested in squid ink. I love the idea of it and have wanted to use it for a very long time, I figured this would be my opportunity. Here, we combine squid ink and calamari to create a wonderful tinny, “oceany” flavor. The black rice is enlivened with coral shrimp or prawns (I didn’t have prawns on hand but believe it would be a more delicious flavor/presentation) and a garlicky aioli. Find my Aioli recipe here.

Completely forgot to photograph the Aioli, sorry guys!

Many Catalan and Spanish dishes begin with two quintessential elements: El Sofrito (called Sofregit in Catalognia) and La Picada. El Sofrito is a slow cooked aromatic mixture of onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes. Like a New Orleans’ roux, the mixture is cooked until it darkens and softens to a soft pulp. Delicious! To further thicken the stews, La Picada is added. It is generally made of garlic, parsley, some kind of nut, and a piece of dry bread. This is ground up and added to the stew. This adds a certain creaminess to the dish as well as further deepens the flavor.


        • olive oil
        • 1 pound or so of large shrimp or prawns, shells on if possible
        • 1 large or 2 small onions, diced
        • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into large cubes
        • 1 pound squid or cuttlefish, chopped into pieces
        • 12 ounces plum tomatoes, torn up with your fingers into smaller chunks with juice
        • salt and pepper
        • 6 teaspoons fish stock concentrate and 6 cups water
        • 2 teaspoons cuttlefish ink or squid ink
        • 4 cloves garlic, minced
        • big pinch of saffron, toasted a bit and crushed
        • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
        • 2 cups bomba rice
        • 1 slice old bread, chopped into chunks
        • 1 small handful of parsley
        • 2 tbsp almonds, sunflower seeds, or hazelnuts,
        • 1 cup Aioli to serve


          1. In a large Dutch Oven, heat a few tablespoons of ol;ive oil.
            Cook the shrimp for a bout 5 minutes until pink on both sides.
            Set aside.
          2. To make the Sofrito, in the same pan. add the onion and cook 8-10 minutes until softened and translucent.
            Add the bell pepper, cook 5 minutes longer. Stir regularly to prevent sticking.
            Add the cuttlefish, cook 5 more minutes.
            Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
            Cook 10-15 minutes until thickened a and a bit darker.
          3. Meanwhile, in a different pot, warm up the stock concentrate and water.
            Add the squid ink and saffron.
            Keep it hot.
          4. In a small skillet, heat garlic for a minute with a bit of olive oil.
            Remove and set aside.
            Add the bread and nuts and toast until golden, about a minute or so.
            Combine garlic, bread, nuts, and parsley in a food processor and grind to a paste. Add a bit of stock to create a paste if needed.
          5. Now that the Sofrito is ready, add the paprika and stir in the stock. Bring to a boil.
            Add the rice and the Picada. Cook on high, uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
            Once thickened enough, place the shrimp or prawns on top, lower the heat to low and cook another 7-8 minutes.
            Serve with Aioli on the side.
            If cooking in advance, stop before adding the prawns and reheat to finish the last step. It is tough to mix the rice after the shrimp is added on top.
        Want more?

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