Seafood Paella
Cuisine: Spanish
  • For the Mussels:
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ lb. mussels, washed well
  • For the Stock*:
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled & lightly toasted in the pan
  • 6 jumbo shrimp heads
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • ⅓ cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
  • ⅓ cup celery (including leaves), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • 2 cups water
  • For the Sofrito:
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup bell pepper, diced (any color)
  • 1 cup diced tomato* (canned or fresh, if fresh it should be peeled)
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • For the other Seafood:
  • 4 to 6 jumbo shrimp
  • ½ lb. calamari, sliced
  • 4 sea scallops
  • For the Rice:
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons Spanish bomba rice (or Arborio or Carnaroli)
  • 1 cup large green peas, (frozen or fresh)
  • For the garnish:
  • Parsley and jarred roasted red peppers (or you can use the version in my Ajvar recipe)
  1. For the Mussels:
  2. Wash the mussels and add to simmering white wine. When they open they are done. Set aside. Once they have opened up, remove them and add the wine to the seafood stock. If any fail to open, throw them out.
  3. For the Seafood stock:
  4. Lightly toast the saffron for 15 or 20 seconds in a dry pan over medium heat.
  5. Remove shrimp heads and peel, reserving shrimp meat.
  6. Add other ingredients with one cup of water and the wine from the mussels and let boil for 20 minutes.
  7. For the Sofrito:
  8. Chop finely the garlic & bell pepper. If you use fresh tomato, cut it in half and grate it, then discard the skin. If using canned diced tomato just add with the garlic & bell pepper.
  9. Add a half cup of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and tomato, and cook for several minutes. If it starts to stick add dribbles of olive oil. Don't let it burn.
  10. Once softened, add the paprika, salt & turmeric. Move sofrito to the edge of the pan.
  11. For the Seafood:
  12. Add a little oil to the middle of the pan if necessary. Dry off the shrimp, scallops, and calamari and quick sear in the center of the pan. They will brown better if they are dry.
  13. Move shrimp to the side when it pinks up, move calamari when the tentacles begin to squeeze.
  14. Scallops only need to cook for one minute. After that move them onto a plate & set them aside.
  15. For the paella:
  16. Combine the wine you cooked the mussels in to the seafood stock then add a cup and a half of the stock to the pan.
  17. Pour the rice over in the shape of a cross, slightly above the liquid. Stir to coat & even out.
  18. From this point on do not stir the rice.
  19. Put the rice in the pan and let cook on high for 3 minutes till you get a little soccarat (or browning on the bottom.)
  20. Bring to a boil and then adjust heat to maintain a vigorous simmer. Bubbles at the edge should be smaller than at the center. Do this for 10 to 15 minutes.
  21. Arrange the mussels, shrimp, and scallops on top of the paella distributing them evenly.
  22. When the paella starts to make popping noises cut the heat and add the peas. The peas will use the remaining heat to cook.
  23. Garnish:
  24. red bell pepper, roasted, peeled & cut into strips (or the jarred version)
  25. lemon wedges & chopped parsley
  26. Cover & let rest for 5 -10 minutes
*If you don't have time to make this you can substitute a good seafood broth.
Recipe by The FrangloSaxon Cooks at