Traditional recipes

Spanish Noodle Paella

Spanish Noodle Paella

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about) water, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pound tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
  • 1 1 1/4-pound live lobster
  • 10 ounces spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/3 cups)
  • 12 mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 12 uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • 12 sea scallops, side muscle trimmed

Recipe Preparation

  • Place 1 tablespoon water in cup; mix in saffron. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, 3 tablespoons parsley, and garlic. Sauté until onion is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Mix in tomatoes. Simmer until almost all tomato juices have evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, paprika, and saffron mixture. DO AHEAD Sauce base can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

  • Bring clam juice to boil in large wide pot over medium-high heat. Add lobster. Cover; boil until lobster is red, about 4 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Using tongs, transfer lobster to rimmed baking sheet; reserve lobster broth in pot. Cool lobster 15 minutes. Twist tail off body. Cut tail in half lengthwise; remove meat. Twist off claws. Split claw shells with cleaver and remove meat. Cut meat into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Strain juices from sheet into 4-cup measuring cup. Strain in broth from pot. If necessary, add enough water to measure 3 cups broth mixture.

  • Heat sauce base in paella pan or very large skillet over medium heat. Add noodle pieces; stir 1 minute. Add 3 cups broth mixture; bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until noodles are almost tender, about 12 minutes. Mix in mussels and 1 cup water. Cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes; discard any that do not open. Mix in shrimp, scallops, and lobster. Cover; simmer until seafood is just cooked through, adding water by 1/4 cupfuls if paella is dry, about 6 minutes. Uncover; simmer until noodles are tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon parsley.

Recipe by Steven Raichlen,Reviews Section

Omar Allibhoy shares his delicious recipe for Fideuà, essentially paella made with pasta instead of rice.

Not only is this seafood dish delicious, but it’s also quick to make too. Get the recipe: http://thehappyfoodie.co.uk/recipes/f.

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La Paella: Recipes for delicious Spanish rice and noodle dishes noodle recipes from Spain

Enjoy the true taste of Spain and explore this fascinating country s love affair with paella and the deliciously diverse ways in which rice and noodles are used in a multitude of unmissable dishes.

Rice is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, and Spanish cooks transform it into an array of dishes from simple comfort food to grand feasts to be shared on special occasions.

This book brings together delicious rice dishes from all over Spain, from regional classics that are enjoyed around the world to unusual local specialities.

Also included are recipes for the lesser-known fideua, a dish originally from the coast of Valencia that very similar to paella but made with snipped vermicelli noodles rather than rice.

There’s something for every taste here, with recipes containing meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, as well as some tempting vegetarian and vegan options to choose from.

Learn how to make a show-stopping Paella Valenciana (Valencian paella) or a Paella de Marisco y Chorizo (Seafood paella with chorizo), or Fideua Negra (squid ink noodles) and how to make the most of tasty ingredients like garlic, saffron and smoked paprika in your cooking.

As well as traditional regional dishes, there are also other styles of rice dishes to try, such as Arroz Caldoso con Almejas (Clam soup) or Arroz al Horno con Garbanzos y Pasas (Baked rice with chickpeas and raisins). this for Lovers of authentic Spanish food!

Spanish Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe : Add Noodles to Spanish Chicken Noodle Soup noodle recipes from Spain

Learn how to add noodles to a Spanish chicken noodle soup recipe in this free cooking class on video.


La Paella: Recipes for delicious Spanish rice and noodle dishes

Rice is a superbly adaptable fixing, and Spanish cooks change it into a variety of dishes from basic solace food to excellent dining experiences to be shared on extraordinary events. This book unites tasty rice dishes from everywhere Spain, from local works of art that are delighted in around the world to strange neighborhood specialities. Additionally included are plans for the lesser-known fideua, a dish initially from the bank of Valencia that is basically the same as paella however made with cut vermicelli noodles as opposed to rice. There is something for each taste here, with plans containing meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, just as some enticing veggie lover and vegetarian choices to browse. Figure out how to make a show-halting Paella Valenciana (Valencian paella) or a Paella de Marisco y Chorizo (Seafood paella with chorizo), or Fideua Negra (squid ink noodles) and how to take advantage of delicious fixings like garlic, saffron and smoked paprika in your cooking. Just as customary local dishes, there are additionally different styles of rice dishes to attempt, for example, Arroz Caldoso con Almejas (Clam soup) or Arroz al Horno con Garbanzos y Pasas (Baked rice with chickpeas and raisins). Admirers of real Spanish food won't be frustrated!

About the Author
Louise Pickford is a sought-after food writer and food stylist with over 20 years’ experience. She is the author of over 16 cookbooks published worldwide, including The Noodle Bowl, The Perfectly Dressed Salad, and A Handful of Herbs for Ryland Peters & Small. English by birth, she was based in Sydney, Australia for the past decade, but has recently relocated to rural France where she lives and runs cookery classes.

This was a fabulous purchase. Every recipe we’ve tried has been delicious and there is a wide variety of paella recipes to enjoy. This book, some saffron and a nice paella pan made a wonderful gift. --Monica Mcdonald


Spanish Noodles Recipe: Black Noodles (Fideos Negros)

Spanish paella recipes may get all the fame, but Spanish noodles recipes are equally popular in most Spanish seaside towns. Black noodles, called fideos negros in Spanish, are a popular coastal meal on Spain's eastern coast, usually simmered in fish stock and served with squid and monkfish.

This Spanish noodles recipe is said to come from the Mediterranean region of Valencia, although it is also very popular throughout Catalonia. What gives the black noodles their peculiar color? Pure squid ink that is added during cooking turns the pasta dark black.

Here squid rings, fish, onions, and peppers are sautéed and then simmered with the noodles and squid ink, creating an impressive main course. It's easy to prepare in less than 45 minutes and pairs perfectly with a crisp Spanish white wine.

Cultural tip: In Spain, rice and noodle dishes are always served for lunch, and never at dinner time. They are considered heavy meals that are better suited to mid-day!


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Below, we’ve got three vibrant Catalan paella recipes to share, courtesy of Daniel Olivella and Caroline Wright’s beautiful book Catalan Food: Culture & Flavours from the Mediterranean (£22.50, Clarkson Potter).

First up: a classic ‘house’ paella packed with chicken, prawns, clams, mussels, squid and chorizo. Next, a seafood paella that will conjure the smell of beachside restaurants. And for something different, try the fideo noodle paella made with toasted angel hair pasta.

Note: all of these recipes call for sofrito, a classic Spanish cooking base of onion, peppers, and tomato sauce that’s easy to DIY (you can also buy ready-made sofrito online). They also refer to socarrat, the beautifully crispy rice you find at the bottom of a paella pan. These dishes require time and effort, but trust us – they’re 100% worth it.

House paella (paella de la casa)

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 to share

  • About 5 cups (1175 ml and 1 tbsp) chicken stock
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pinches of pure saffron (about 1⁄4 teaspoon)
  • 1⁄8 tsp plus 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp fresh curly parsley leaves
  • 2 1⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small (3-ounce/85g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh, chopped
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) squid bodies, sliced into rings and tentacles
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped smoked, cured chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup (200g) Spanish rice, such as bomba
  • 1⁄4 cup (90g) store-bought sofrito
  • 1⁄2 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 littleneck or Manila clams, scrubbed
  • 6 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 4 medium tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tbsp fresh thin green beans or haricots verts, cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 4 small lemon wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Make a picada by mashing the garlic, saffron, and 1⁄8 tsp of the salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Gradually add the parsley leaves, mashing each addition completely before adding more, until you have a green paste. Stir in 1⁄2 tbsp of the olive oil and a few spoonfuls of warm stock to loosen the mixture so it is just runny enough to slowly drip from the spoon.

In a 12-inch paella pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the chicken, squid, and chorizo. Cook, tossing, until the chicken and squid begin to shrink and turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice until it is shiny with oil, then add the picada, sofrito, smoked paprika, black pepper, and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Add about 3 cups (700ml) of hot stock to the pan, shaking it to settle and loosen any rice clusters as the stock begins to boil. Only shake the rice at this point if stirred, it will become sticky.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the paella until about 80% of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. When most of the liquid is absorbed, the rice will start to sizzle a bit, almost as if it is asking you for another drink. At that point, add about 1 cup (a little over 200ml) more stock by drizzling it around the edge of the pan so the stock seeps from the pan edge to the centre.

Arrange the clams and mussels around the outer edge of the pan, and bury the shrimp throughout the rice. Simmer until about 80% of the liquid is absorbed and the rice starts to sizzle again, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Drizzle about 1 cup (a little over 200ml) more stock around the pan edge, and scatter the peas and green beans over the rice. Continue to simmer the rice until it is just beginning to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes more. At this point, the shrimp should be pink, the vegetables cooked through, and the clams and mussels should be open.

Test the rice by taking a bite. The paella is done when the rice is plump, glossy, and tender on the surface with a rm white centre when bitten into.

The edge of the paella pan should also have a dark rim of oily starch, which is a good sign of the crispy socarrat below. To test the socarrat, use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the paella pan. If the spoon doesn’t move through the rice but instead the rice is firm and the pan moves, then the socarrat has begun to form.

When the socarrat has begun, rotate the pan for even browning. The rice will talk to you as it cooks the crackle will get faster as the rice dries out, then it will go silent when the socarrat is finished forming. Your nose will tell you if it’s beginning to burn just add a spoonful of stock to the scorching spot if so.

Serve the paella at the centre of the table with spoons for guests to serve themselves and lemon wedges for squeezing.

Seafood paella (paella de la barceloneta)

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 to share

  • about 5 cups (1175 ml and 1 tbsp) fish stock
  • 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 pinches of pure saffron (about 1⁄4 teaspoon)
  • 1⁄8 tsp plus 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
  • 21⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) squid bodies, sliced into rings and tentacles
  • 2 ounces (55g) firm white fish, such as monkfish or snapper, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
  • 1 cup (200g) Spanish rice, such as bomba
  • 1⁄4 cup (90g) store-bought sofrito
  • 1⁄2 tsp caramelised onion marmalade
  • 1⁄2 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 littleneck or cherrystone clams, scrubbed
  • 4 medium tail-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp frozen peas, thawed
  • 4 small lemon wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, make a picada by mashing the garlic, saffron, and 1⁄8 tsp of the salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Gradually add in the parsley leaves, mashing each addition completely before adding more, until you have a green paste. Stir in 1⁄2 tbsp of the olive oil and a few spoonfuls of warm stock to loosen the mixture so it is just runny enough to slowly drip from the spoon.

In a 12-inch paella pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the squid and fish. Cook, tossing, until the squid and fish begin to shrink and turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir in the rice until it is shiny with oil, then add the sofrito, onion marmalade, smoked paprika, black pepper, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp salt. Add about 3 cups (700ml) of hot stock and the picada to the pan, shaking it to settle and loosen any rice clusters as the stock begins to boil. Only shake the rice at this point if stirred, it will become sticky.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the paella until about 80% of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. When most of the liquid is absorbed, the rice will start to sizzle a bit, almost as if it is asking you for another drink. At that point, add about 1 cup (a little over 200ml) more stock by drizzling it around the edge of the pan so the stock seeps from the pan edge to the centre.

Arrange the clams around the outer edge of the pan, and bury the shrimp throughout the rice. Simmer until about 80% of the liquid is absorbed and the rice starts to sizzle again, 5 to 6 minutes more.

Drizzle about 1 cup (a little over 200ml) more stock around the pan edge and scatter the peas over the rice. Continue to simmer the rice until it is just beginning to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes more. At this point, the shrimp should be pink, the peas cooked through, and the clams should be open. Test the rice by taking a bite. The paella is done when the rice is plump, glossy, and tender on the surface with a rm white centre when bitten into.

The edge of the paella pan should now have a dark rim of oily starch, which is a good sign of the crispy socarrat below. To test the socarrat, use a spoon to scrape the bottom of the paella pan. If the spoon doesn’t move through the rice but instead the rice is firm and the pan moves, then the socarrat has begun to form.

When the socarrat has begun, rotate the pan for even browning. The rice will talk to you as it cooks the crackle will get faster as the rice dries out, then it will go silent when the socarrat is finished forming. Your nose will tell you if it’s beginning to burn just add a spoonful of stock to the scorching spot if so.

Serve the paella at the centre of the table with spoons for guests to serve themselves and lemon wedges for squeezing.

Fideo noodle paella (fideuà)

Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 to share

  • 4 ounces (115g) store-bought toasted fideus or vermicelli pasta
  • 3 1⁄2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • about 5 cups (1175 ml and 1 tbsp) fish stock
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • 1⁄8 tsp plus 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp fresh curly parsley leaves
  • 2 ounces (55g) firm white fish, such as monk fish or snapper, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
  • 2 ounces (55g) cuttlefish or squid steaks, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
  • 1⁄4 cup (40g) squid bodies, sliced into rings and tentacles
  • 1⁄4 cup (90g) store-bought sofrito
  • 1⁄2 tsp caramelised onion marmalade
  • 1⁄2 tsp pimentón (smoked paprika)
  • 1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
  • 2 tbsp frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 tbsp store-bought aioli, for serving
  • 4 small lemon wedges, for serving
  • Pimentón oil (optional), for serving

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

If you use vermicelli pasta, use your hands to break the pasta into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces over a large sheet pan. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the oil over the pasta or fideus and toss to coat it well. Shake the noodles into a single layer, then toast in the oven until deep golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice for even browning. Remove and let cool completely. This step can be done a day or two ahead.

Increase the oven temperature to 450°F (230°C).

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a gentle simmer over medium heat.

Meanwhile, make a picada by mashing the garlic and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt to a fine paste in a mortar with a pestle. Gradually add in the parsley, mashing each addition completely before adding more, until you have a green paste. Stir in 1⁄2 tablespoon of the olive oil and set aside.

In a 12-inch paella pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp oil over high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the monkfish, cuttlefish, and squid. Cook until the fish begins to shrink and turn opaque, 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently. Stir in the toasted noodles until they are shiny with oil.

Add the picada, sofrito, onion marmalade, smoked paprika, black pepper, and remaining 1⁄2 tsp salt. Add about 3 cups (700ml) of warm stock to the pan, shaking it to settle and loosen any noodle clusters as the stock begins to boil. Only shake the noodles at this point if stirred, they will become sticky.

Simmer the fideos over medium heat until some stock is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Test the noodles for doneness – they should be about halfway cooked by now. If the noodles no longer have room to swim, add about 1 cup (a little over 200ml) more stock. Continue to simmer the deuà until only a thin layer of stock rests on top, up to 10 minutes more.

Bury the shrimp throughout the noodles and scatter the peas over the top. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook until the shrimp turn pink, all the stock has evaporated, and the crispy noodles stand up in the pan, 5 to 7 minutes.

Spoon the aioli onto the centre of the noodles. Serve at the centre of the table with spoons for guests to serve themselves and lemon wedges for squeezing. Stir the aioli into the noodles only after the dish is on the table. Drizzle with the pimentón oil.

From Catalan Food: Culture & Flavors from the Mediterranean by Daniel Olivella and Caroline Wright (£22.50, Clarkson Potter), out now


High Protein Noodle Paella

This High Protein Noodle Paella is a vegan version of a popular Spanish dish called “Fideua”, traditionally made with fish and shellfish.

One of the first recipes we ever posted on the blog, was for a dish our mom made up when I first met my husband. I invited him over for dinner. and kinda forgot to tell her he was vegan. So, being the amazing cook that she is, she came up with a vegan version of a traditional Spanish dish called Fideua, which is basically a noodle paella. And of course, it was absolutely delicious.

There's another version of this Spanish dish, where the noodles are actually black, and it's made with ink squid. The recipe we're sharing today, is a vegan, high protein version of that dish. We used Explore Cuisine's Black Bean Spaghetti as a base, to give it a more "authentic" color, and just a few simple ingredients like sautéed onions, red bell peppers, garlic, peas and crushed tomatoes to give it an intense flavor.


What is fideua?

Fideua is a traditional dish, similar in style to paella but made with short spaghetti-like pasta called 'fideos'. Its base is a wonderful mix of fish stock and a smooth tomato-pepper sauce that the pasta soaks up as it cooks, taking on all of that deliciousness. Then it's crammed with fish and seafood.

Fideua is one of those dishes that's comforting in cold weather but also light enough for warm weather. Certainly warmer is more typical in Catalunya and neighboring Valencia region, where this is believed to be from.

It's traditionally served with alioi (garlic mayonnaise) and a squeeze of lemon. Otherwise it's a one pan meal (well, once you've made your stock, if you do, which I recommend).

We have made a number of Spanish and Catalan dishes that we have enjoyed in our family, from tapas like Spanish chickpeas and spinach and tortilla to romesco sauce. And fideua is another we love as well. After all, it's a flavorful pasta dish so what's not to love?


La Paella: Recipes for delicious Spanish rice and noodle dishes

Rice is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, and Spanish cooks transform it into an array of dishes from simple comfort food to grand feasts to be shared on special occasions. This book brings tog Enjoy the true taste of Spain and explore this fascinating country’s love affair with rice and the deliciously diverse ways in which it is used in a multitude of unmissable dishes.

Rice is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, and Spanish cooks transform it into an array of dishes from simple comfort food to grand feasts to be shared on special occasions. This book brings together delicious rice dishes from all over Spain, from regional classics that are enjoyed around the world to unusual local specialities. Also included are recipes for the lesser-known fideua, a dish originally from the coast of Valencia that is very similar to paella but made with snipped vermicelli noodles rather than rice. There is something for every taste here, with recipes containing meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, as well as some tempting vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Learn how to make a show-stopping Paella Valenciana (Valencian paella) or a Paella de Marisco y Chorizo (Seafood paella with chorizo), or Fideua Negra (squid ink noodles) and how to make the most of tasty ingredients like garlic, saffron and smoked paprika in your cooking. As well as traditional regional dishes, there are also other styles of rice dishes to try, such as Arroz Caldoso con Almejas (Clam soup) or Arroz al Horno con Garbanzos y Pasas (Baked rice with chickpeas and raisins). Lovers of authentic Spanish food will not be disappointed! . more


La Paella: Recipes for delicious Spanish rice and noodle dishes

Enjoy the true taste of Spain and explore this fascinating country's love affair with paella and the deliciously diverse ways in which rice and noodles are used in a multitude of unmissable dishes.

Rice is a wonderfully versatile ingredient, and Spanish cooks transform it into an array of dishes from simple comfort food to grand feasts to be shared on special occasions. This book brings together delicious rice dishes from all over Spain, from regional classics that are enjoyed around the world to unusual local specialities. Also included are recipes for the lesser-known fideua, a dish originally from the coast of Valencia that is very similar to paella but made with snipped vermicelli noodles rather than rice.

There is something for every taste here, with recipes containing meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, as well as some tempting vegetarian and vegan options to choose from. Learn how to make a show-stopping Paella Valenciana (Valencian paella) or a Paella de Marisco y Chorizo (Seafood paella with chorizo), or Fideua Negra (squid ink noodles) and how to make the most of tasty ingredients like garlic, saffron and smoked paprika in your cooking. As well as traditional regional dishes, there are also other styles of rice dishes to try, such as Arroz Caldoso con Almejas (Clam soup) or Arroz al Horno con Garbanzos y Pasas (Baked rice with chickpeas and raisins). Lovers of authentic Spanish food will not be disappointed!


Answering your burning questions about making Paella. />

  1. What rice to use for Paella? The best rice for paella is Bomba rice, also labelled as Valencia Rice or Rice de Valencia (Valencia is the region that Paella is said to have originated from). The other common rice is called Calasparra Rice (a region in Spain where it is grown). See above in post for more information.
  2. Best paella pan / skillet – Paella pans are large and shallow so the rice spreads out thinly and cooks evenly without stirring. But you don’t need a paella pan to make paella! Just use a large skillet. The key is to ensure the rice is not stacked up more than about 2 cm / 3/5″ deep (excluding the liquid & seafood added later, but including onion etc mixed throughout rice), to ensure even cooking.
  3. Avoiding mushy rice – This part is EASY. Just start with the liquid ratios I’ve provided in the recipe which will yield a tender but firm rice which is how I like it. Once the liquid is absorbed, if the rice is not as soft as you like, just add a drizzle of hot tap water over the top of the rice (1/2 cup at a time), then leave to absorb for a few minutes until the rice is cooked to your taste. The strict rule is 3 cups of liquid to 1 cup of paella rice. I use a bit less because the seafood (especially mussels) in seafood paella releases plenty of liquid.
  4. Cook in broth, not water – Fact is, the better the broth, the better the paella. The best is a homemade seafood broth. The 2nd best is a store bought chicken broth dolled up by simmering it for a while with some seafood offcuts, or make seafood paella like I have (so the flavoured seafood juices drop into the rice). The 3rd best is store bought chicken broth. Store bought fish stock doesn’t make the cut in my world – sorry. />(Unless of course, you get a gourmet homemade one.)
  5. Don’t stir!! Unlike risotto, paella should not be creamy. So once you add the broth, do not stir. The best paellas have a golden crust on the bottom, called the soccarat, and it’s the best part of the paella. />
  6. Add seafood partway through cooking – Paella takes 20 to 25 minutes to cook. So squidge the seafood in partway through cooking to avoid overcooking it. Even partially submerged, it is enough heat to cook. The only exception is squid – it needs to be cooked super fast (2 minutes or less) or super long to make it tender (60 minutes). Anything in between is horrid and rubbery. For paella, we take the super fast route – cook it first, remove, add back later.