Cooking Paella


Traditionally thought of as a rice dish, the term “Paella” refers to the actual baking dish that the food is cooked in.  A Paella could however, be a pasta based dish such as Fideua, which is similar to noodles. They can contain meat such as pork and rabbit, poultry such as chicken breast or wings as well as fish and seafood.  Quite often a combination of the two.

Paellas are mostly made out of steel now but historically have also been made out of terracotta.

This recipe is rice based and we use a very local redondo Bomba quality from the Ebre Delta.

The only ingredient here that is not local to within 10 food miles are the  black and red peppers!

For 4 people you will need the following ingredients;-

400g mussels

8  Uncooked Gambas  (large prawns)

4-6 langoustine

100g Sepia

100g white fish (Firm fleshed e.g. monkfish)

400g short grain (redondo) rice

Handful of chopped Parsley

2 ripe Tomatoes or passata/frito

1/2 red pepper

pinch Saffron

Pimento dulce and piquant

Freshly ground black pepper and salt

2 cloves of Garlic

Olive oil

1 litre fish stock and some white wine

Lemon for garnish


Preparation first.

Prepare the fish and shellfish as follows.

Clean the mussels de-beard and leave in water

Dice the sepia.

Cut langoustine into three with Scissors or a very sharp knife

Wash and check the Gambas

Prepare the white fish as per type

Chop the parsley

Grate the fresh ripe tomatoes so all you have left in the palm of your hand is the skin

Dice the garlic and Onions

Chop the red pepper


Heat up enough of the olive oil to coat the bottom of your paella to the depth of a couple of millimetres.

Cook the langoustine for about a minute and put to one side.

Do the same with the Gambas. They can go on the same plate.

Top up the oil if required.

Next add the sepia and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add and fry the onions and garlic until just starting to loose their whiteness.

Add the peppers and soften slightly.

Add the parsley and saffron, half a tsp of piquante and a tsp of dulce pimento.

Add the rice and stir until coated with the oil and combined with the onions etc.

Then add the tomatoes and half of the stock.

Stir or shake occasionally and let the rice absorb the liquid.

Add more stock and wine as required, stirring as necessary

Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Arrange the Gambas, Langoustine and mussels on the top of the rice. when the mussels have opened turn off and cover with a cloth or kitchen paper.

Leave for 5 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.



Seafood gambas paella

 A Seafood Paella ready to eat…