Originating in Valencia, paella is one of the most traditional dishes in Spain. Recipes and flavours have been adapted over time to suit different regions. This classic version teams chorizo with calamari, prawns and mussels.
- 750 ml (3 cups) veal stock
- ¼ tsp Spanish sweet or smoked paprika
- small pinch saffron
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100 g semi-cured chorizo, sliced into ½ cm rounds
- 2 squid or calamari tubes, sliced into 1 cm rounds
- ¼ cup sofrito (see below)
- 1 cup bomba rice or calasparra rice (see Note)
- 100 ml white wine
- 8 large green prawns
- 16 black mussels
- 1 roasted capsicum, diced
- chopped parsley, to serve
- lemon wedges, to serve
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ brown onion, finely chopped
- ½ red capsicum, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 125 ml (½ cup) tinned crushed tomatoes
- ½ tsp Spanish sweet paprika
- 1 tsp dry sherry (optional)
- salt and pepper, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.
To make the sofrito, place medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour in enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the onions. Cook for 7–8 minutes until soft. Add the capsicum and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until the capsicum softens. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the tomatoes, paprika and sherry. Season to taste. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.
Combine the stock, paprika and saffron in a saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
Place a paella pan or large, wide-based frying pan over medium heat. Add the olive oil and chorizo and cook for 5 minutes until it releases some oil and looks crisp. Add the squid and cook for 3 minutes. Add the sofrito and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly before adding the rice. Stir to coat then pour in the wine and cook until evaporated. Pour in the warm stock, stir, then spread the rice evenly over the base of the pan and bring to the boil. Cook for a few minutes until the rice begins to swell and absorbs some stock. Add the prawns and two pinches of salt. Stir gently for the last time and reduce the heat to a steady simmer. Cook for 3–4 minutes until the rice begins to show as the stock reduces. Add the mussels and continue to cook for 8–10 minutes until the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Reduce heat to low and cook for a further 5 minutes until a crust forms on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle over the roasted capsicum, remove from the heat and rest for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
• Bomba rice or calasparra rice is a short grain rice used in paella for its superior ability to absorb three times its weight in liquid. You can find these rice varieties in Spanish and some European delis.
Photography by Alan Benson