This dish just reminds me of the ocean. Of course, it’s seafood, but it is also infused with the peaceful exhilaration you get after a day in the water. Even the way the food comes together in the pot over heat reminds me of being warmed by the sun. This is a perfect way to gather friends and to feel nourished and soothed by nutrient rich and delicious food. Imagine the sun setting, a delicious crisp white wine in hand, surrounded by the aromas of saffron and saltwater.
all units: U.S. Imperial
- 1lb shrimp (shelled & deveined)
- ½ lb squid (tubes & tentacles)
- ½ lb mussels (scrubbed & debearded)
- ½ lb clams (scrubbed & rinsed)
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1.5 c Bomba Rice
- 1.5 c dry white wine
- 4 c seafood stock
- 1 bunch Italian Parsley, roughly chopped
*Olive Oil, sea salt and flaky sea salt for cooking
Lemon Wedges for serving
Aioli with extra garlic & lemon zest, for serving
The way I cook Paella is a bit different than most recipes but each of these steps ensures a perfectly cooked, flavor-packed Paella.
First, cook the mussels & clams. In a mid-size pot with a lid, drizzle a bit of oil and sweat half the onion and garlic in with a pinch of salt, add ¾ c of wine until the mixture is bubbling. Then add the mussels & clams to the pot and cover, and reduce the heat. Once the mussels & clams have opened, about 6 mins, remove from the heat, toss with a small handful of chopped parsley and set aside uncovered.
In a separate small pot pour the seafood stock with the saffron threads and allow to warm on a low-heat. Using a Paella pan, heat the pan with olive oil and par-cook the squid with a pinch of salt, remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat the step with the shrimp. Keep the shrimp, squid and mussels separate as they are placed in the paella rice at different times.
Cook the rice next. Saute the onions, bell pepper and garlic in the paella pan with olive oil and pinch of salt until the onions are translucent. Stir the rice in to incorporate with the onion mixture, then add the tomato paste, smoked paprika, and cumin and continue to stir until the rice is fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour a ladle full of the saffron-infused seafood stock into the rice mixture, and stir. Repeat this process until the rice is about halfway cooked, the grains will still have some white flecks. Add the squid back to the rice and stir, then add the remaining white wine to the mixture, continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated, and repeat by adding saffron-infused seafood stock. Some rice will begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, it’s called ‘soccorat’, and it’s ok!
Once the rice is al-dente (about 85% cooked) add another ladle or two of saffron-infused seafood stock, and arrange the mussels, clams and shrimp on the pan of rice – I like to arrange in pattern, cover the entire pan with tin-foil and allow to rest under a very low heat for 5 minutes. The stock should be fully absorbed and the rice cooked through (not mushy).
Garnish the paella with chopped parsley and flaky sea salt, serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle of lemon-y aioli.