There are many varieties of paella; every village and cook seems to have one (specially in the region of Valencia, where it originated). The following recipe is for the popular 'paella mixta' or mixed paella. The dish takes its name from the special frying pan used in its preparation, very wide and shallow. In fact the correct name is arroz a la paella.

The ingredients vary: if you can't find something that's listed here, be creative and replace it with something similar. Optionally (but very frequently) chicken is added: small parts are fried in the rice as the fist thing; keep it away and add it later on (with the prawns).

Ingredients 8 persons
-1/2 glass of olive oil
-2 cups of rice (short grain, not the vaporized variety)
-5 cups of fish broth
-250 g prawns (gambas)
-1 medium-sized squid (calamar)
-500 gr. clams, or 1000 gr. mussels (mejillones)
-1 slice of angler (or a similar fish)
-1 fresh green pepper
-1 red pepper (of the soft, canned variety)
-1 small can of green peas
-1 small onion
-2 fresh, ripe, small tomatoes
-A few saffron threads
-1/2 clove garlic


Put half of the oil to heat in a frying pan. When hot add the onion (minced) and five minutes later the tomatoes (in small chunks, unseeded and peeled). Leave for 5 minutes, crushing the tomatoes every now and then. Puree (with the potato masher), and add it to the 'paella' pan with the rest of the oil.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan put cold water, adding the spine of the fish and all the shells and heads of the prawns (that should have been peeled, put the tails apart). In a different (and covered) one put to boil the clams with a very small amount of water (they must have been thoroughly washed before, leaving them to rest in salted water); as soon as the clams open take the saucepan away from the fire, discarding the empty half of the shells. The water obtained from these saucepans (clams & prawns) will be strained (using a very thin tea strainer or a piece of white cloth) and saved.


To the paella (with the pureed tomato and oil) add the green peppers in small pieces (about 3 cm), the squid (in thin slices, about the size of a small finger) and the fish (also in small pieces).

Stir for a few minutes and add the rice. Stir for a few seconds with a wooden spoon, not allowing it to get toasted or fried. Add salt and the fish broth (hot, but not boiling) -- If you don't have the 5 requested cups of broth complete with hot water--. Move the pan to even everything, set the fire to a medium position... and don't put any 'instruments' inside the paella or stir its contents from this moment!

Meanwhile, using a mortar, crush the garlic, the parsley and the saffron (add a pinch of salt and it'll be easier). Add two spoonfuls of warm water and pour over the paella, stirring (but only by moving the pan). Also add now the tails of the prawns. When 50% of the broth is left add (in an orderly and well distributed fashion) the red peppers, the clams or mussels and the peas.

From the moment when rice is added it usually takes 20 minutes, but that depends on the type of rice used.

Once the rice is tender and the broth has been consumed the paella is moved away from the fire and left apart for a five minute 'rest' (important). It is served decorated with large lemon slices (some people like to squeeze it on the rice, so there should be a slice per person, that is included in the serving).

Take a look at the Previous Recipes!



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