Dear Nigella team, I am planning on cooking Nigella's Greek Squid And Orzo from her fabulous book "Simply Nigella". As ouzo is rather expensive and the recipe requires only 30ml in total, I was wondering if I could substitute it with something else? I am aware that it would make the dish less Greek but I really don't want to spend a lot of money on an ingredient I won't use again after cooking this dish. Thank you ever so much for your help.
Nigella's Greek Squid And Orzo (from SIMPLY NIGELLA) is a slow braise of squid and orzo pasta with a tomato sauce. The sauce is spiked with ouzo, which is an anise-flavoured eau de vie. The closest alternative would be a French pastis, such as Pernod, or Italian sambuca. Both of these are slightly sweeter than ouzo but would yield the same type of flavour.
If these are also difficult to buy then a dry white vermouth could be added as white vermouth matches well with seafood. However it will not have the slightly liquorice note of ouzo. If you have some aniseed in the spice cupboard then you could also try grinding a few seeds and adding a pinch or two of this to the dish.