A delicious, exotic one pot meal awaits you! Substitutions abound in this recipe: use chicken instead of seafood, or go all veggie if you don’t eat meat. I use Arborio rice but you can easily use long grain brown rice, just note that the cooking time will be longer. The key to paella is to make sure the ingredients are prepped and ready for the pot, cooking goes fast! This recipe makes enough for 4 people with leftovers. I can feed my family of five and have lunch the next day, which you will want to have.
Serves 4 with leftovers
1/2 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 pound cleaned squid, sliced or scallops
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed, divided
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups arborio rice (you may use long grain brown rice)
3 cups fish stock (if you are using chicken, you can use chicken stock, vegetarian use vegetable stock)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 pound mussels, scrubbed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
lemon wedges for garnish and sprinkling on top of paella
- Adjust oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the shrimp and squid with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the smoked paprika.
- In a large saute pan, paella pan (preferable) or even a dutch oven (see note below), heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil until almost smoking. Add enough of the seafood so it is in a single layer. Sauté until slightly cooked, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan to a bowl. Repeat the process with the rest of the seafood.
- Add another 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Add the peppers and onion and saute for about 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the garlic and stir frequently for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, continuing to stir frequently for about 2 minutes until well combined.
- Stir in the rice and cook until the grains are well coated with the tomato mixture, about 2 minutes. Add in the stock, saffron and white wine. Bring to a strong simmer, stirring occasionally, until the paella thickens and a spoon leaves a path, exposing the bottom of the pan, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add in the shrimp, squid and peas. Dot the mussels around the pan, gently pushing them into the rice. Carefully place the pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid is absored and the rice has a slight bite to it (double the time if you are using brown rice). You may need to cook it longer, or less, depending on your oven.
- Remove the paella from the oven, cover with foil and let it rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, add lemon wedges and serve.
Important note: the ideal pan for paella is a paella pan. It is flat and wide, ideal for ensuring that all your ingredients cook evenly. If you plan on making paella frequently, it is worth the investment. Otherwise, you can use your largest sauté pan, or even a dutch oven. Make sure that whatever you use, it fits in the oven and that it is suited for the oven. No plastic handles or nonstick.