Paella is one of my favourite foods, and makes me think of all the adventures I’ve had in Spanish cities – especially in Valencia, the traditional home of Paella. Making it always seems to be a big spectacle, with a crowd of chefs (and onlookers) gathered around what looks like an enormous steel drum, stirring with an enormous spoon.
But making it home is super-easy; it might not be as grand, but it tastes just as good cooked in a casserole. (If you’re that fussed, you can go all out and buy yourself a Paella pan. )
This recipe is a base – you can add different spices depending on what you’ve got in your cupboard; a pinch of saffron goes a long way, or if you’ve got some leftover veg that needs using up, sling it in! The beauty of paella is you can use up whatever you’ve got lying around.
Ingredients – for 2 portions
1 Onion, chopped
1 chilli, chopped
A pepper, chopped (any colour you want!)
1 cup of rice
A tin of chopped tomatoes
300ml stock (chicken or veg is fine)
Any other veg you want to add, such as peas, beans, chopped tomatoes
Any meat you want to add, such as cooked chicken, prawns or chorizo
Salt and Pepper
A bay leaf
In a large pan or casserole, heat about a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and add the onion and chilli. Don’t let it burn! It should take a couple of minutes. You might need to add extra veg that needs softening at this point – anything like celery or peppers- or chorizo.
Add the rice and stir it around so it gets coated in the oil. Add in the spices and herbs.
After a minute or two, add the chopped tinned tomatoes and the stock, bringing it to the boil. Add the bay leaf.
Now, sit back and relax. Pop a lid over it, and stir it regularly to stop the rice sticking. You might need to ass extra water if it’s reducing down before the rice is cooked. It usually takes about 20mins – but depends how much you are making!
Add any extra veg that doesn’t take long, such as peas or sweetcorn.
After a minute or two, when everything is cooked and the rice is tender.
Here’s one I made earlier!
This recipe is great as a main if you stuff it full of goodies, but you can tone it down a bit and use it as a side – it’s really good with chipotle chicken thighs or even at a BBQ!