Special Paella with a Twist
For generations, families have enjoyed the traditional Spanish rice dish, paella. However, what happens when a twist is added to the classic recipe? To answer that, I created an Italian-style paella dish inspired by my family in Venezuela. This infusion brings the salty and savory flavors of the Adriatic sea to every bite.
Moreover, the combination of Spanish and Italian ingredients creates a flavor explosion that will take your taste buds on a trip to the Mediterranean. The Spanish chorizo and paprika contribute savory and smoky flavors, while the sweetness of the bell peppers balances the dish. Additionally, seafood, including shrimp, mussels, and clams, adds a touch of brininess that perfectly complements the saffron and parmesan.
Incorporating my family’s Venezuelan roots into this dish adds a personal touch that makes it all the more special. Whether you’re an experienced chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this easy-to-make Italian-style paella recipe will leave your family and friends impressed. So why not try this delicious twist on the classic Spanish dish and bring a taste of the Mediterranean to your next meal?
(For a big Family lunch of approx. 20 ppl) Use less ingredients if you cook for less people.
Vincenzo’s Top Tips To Make Paella
We used Arborio for an Italian twist, but it is recommended for authenticity, to use “bomba” which is a short grain rice.
Keep on stirring
Stir frequently your rice until it is par-boiled before you add the seafoods such as prawns, mussels and scampi.
Once your paella is almost ready, add a few sprinkles of finely chopped parsley to finish it off and ready to be serve!
Let the paella rest before serving
After cooking the paella, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This will enable the flavors to meld together and the rice to absorb any remaining liquid.
- Large, deep pan
- Large deep pot for approx. 5L water
- Sharp knife
- wooden spoon
- 1 Big Red Capsicum
- 2 Carrot
- 1 Onion
- Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
- 500 grams Chicken breast diced
- 4-5 L Water
- 3 sachets Saffron powder or threads
- 2 kg Rice
- 200 grams Peas
- 1 kg Shelled mussels
- 200 grams Prawns
- 12 Scampi
- 600 grams Calamari
- Sprinkle of sea salt
- Fresh parsley
- Boil 4-5L water in a large pot while you prepare the ingredients for this amazing dish.
- Dice the carrot, capsicum and onion into small pieces.
- Prepare the calamari by cutting the calamari strips into cubes.
- Pour a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil into a large deep pan and put it on the stove at a medium-high heat to start the paella mixture.
- Add the capsicum, carrot and onion to the pan and stir. Leave to simmer until the vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the calamari pieces and simmer for around 10 minutes while stirring regularly.
- Once the water has started to heat up, add 2 x sachets of saffron powder to the large pot.
- Next it's time to add the diced chicken to the mix and stir using wooden spoon. This should also be left to cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the prawn and saffron broth using a large ladle and stir it through.
- Then, pour in the rice, stir once again, and add another 2 ladles of broth.
- To add extra flavour to your paella, add a sprinkle of sea salt and mix, before pouring in up to 200g of peas.
- Continue to stir frequently, until the rice is par-boiled. Then, add the prawns, mussels and scampi.
- Place the scampi evenly around the pan so that they rest on top and are able to cook whilst looking on-point for presentation.
- Once the paella is almost ready, add a few sprinkles of finely chopped parsley.
- E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!
How to serve Paella
To serve paella, begin by presenting the pan on the table in the traditional family-style manner. Then, encourage your guests to scoop the paella onto their plates, ensuring that they include some of the crispy socarrat on the bottom of the pan. Optionally, you can garnish with lemon wedges and chopped parsley. Typically, paella is enjoyed with a light green salad, crusty bread, and a glass of Spanish wine. Finally, enjoy the meal!
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