Serves: 4-6 - Time:
I cannot claim this to be an authentic paella but it is my way of cooking the most famous of Spanish dishes. I believe Catalans add meat to their fishy paellas but in general you won’t find meat and fish in the same pan. I add a little chorizo because I love the flavour the smoky sausage gives to the dish. I also add peppers for the contrast of textures. If you want to go the whole hog you can make your own fish stock but Waitrose do a fantastic fresh fish stock. As you can see from the shot of the ingredients I used a stock cube here as I couldn’t get to the shops but I wasn’t disappointed with the intensity of the flavour. You could also swap white wine for the vermouth but I always have a bottle of the latter in the cupboard whereas I often can’t be bothered to open a bottle of wine. To prepare the mussels, wash them in cold water, pull off any bits of beard and discard any with broken shells. Tap any opened mussels and if they don’t close discard them too.
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 100g chorizo, skinned and cut into thin rounds
- 1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked pimenton
- 1 generous pinch saffron strands
- 200g tinned tomatoes (half a tin)
- 200ml dry vermouth
- 900ml fish stock (see intro)
- 300g prepared raw squid rings
- 400g bomba rice (paella rice)
- 1 kg mussels, prepared (see intro)
- 125g cooked peeled prawns
- Heat the oil in a paella pan or a really wide sauté pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté, stirring regularly, over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions have softened but not coloured. Add the peppers and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring to ensure even cooking. Stir in the garlic and chorizo and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the pimenton and saffron to the pan and pour in the tomatoes and vermouth. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile pour the fish stock into a saucepan and place on a low heat to warm through. Add the squid and rice to the paella pan and stir well to make sure the rice is coated and spread over the pan in an even layer.
- Carefully pour in two thirds of the warm stock, give everything a stir then leave the pan alone. Do not stir at all during the cooking. Leave the paella to bubble away gently for about 20 minutes, turning the pan regularly to make sure the rice is cooking evenly.
- To cook the mussels, pour about 3cm water into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and add the mussels. Cover with a lid and cook for about 4-5 minutes until the mussels have opened. Drain into a colander. Leave for 2-3 minutes then pick the mussel meat out of about half the mussels.
- After the paella has had three quarters of its cooking time most of the liquid should have been absorbed and the rice should be almost cooked. Pour in the remaining stock (I use all of the remaining fish stock but if your paella is still looking a bit wet don’t add all the stock). Put the mussel meat, whole mussels and prawns on top of the rice and cook for a further 10 minutes, by which stage the rice should be plump and tender but still with a little bite. Take the pan off the heat, cover with foil and leave the paella to rest for at least five minutes.