This recipe, one that everyone recognises instantly as a Spanish classic, comes from the coastal region in the south-east of the country which embraces Valencia and plenty of Mediterranean sunshine. There's much controversy about what constitutes the perfect paella recipe, but we won't get into any arguments on the subject especially as the one below looks so appetising!
(Makes enough to share with family and a few friends!) Use a paella pan or large frying pan to cook.
- 140ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- Around a dozen fresh shrimps and/or prawns
- 600g approx. squid and/or cuttlefish (cut in small/medium size pieces)
- 1 tomato, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- A good spoonful of paprika (to taste)
- 400gms paella rice
- A few strands of saffron
- 1.5l shellfish stock, kept hot
- A good dozen fresh mussels, thoroughly cleaned
- Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil in to your paella or wide frying pan over a moderate heat, and when it's warm it's time to add the onion. Sauté for a few minutes but don't allow to brown.
- Add the prawns and/or shrimps , fry and when they are almost but not quite cooked and then remove them as they will be added back just before the end of cooking.
- Add the squid and/or cuttlefish, fry for around 3 minutes, stirring all the time until golden-brown in colour.
- Add the chopped tomato and the garlic to the pan and leave to fry on a low flame for a few minutes.
- Mix all the other ingredients to the pan to fry and stir frequently.
- Add the paprika, mix and stir all the ingredients together just for a minute then add the rice. Fry and stir for one minute more on a low flame and then add the saffron.
- Add the hot fish stock to the paella, salt and increase the heat to the maximum the first 5 minutes. Then 8 minutes approximately at medium heat and about 4 minutes at low heat, depending on the kind of rice used.
- Once you can see the rice starting to come through from under the fish stock, it's time to put in the seafood. Start with the mussels and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes (you could cover the pan) until all are opened. Finally, add the prawns/shrimps and heat through.
- Spoon into warmed bowls and serve scattered with plenty of parsley and big wedges of lemon.