Paella Valenciana

Serves 4


Sofrito* - Makes 2 Cups

  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 Spanish white onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried flakes
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • pinch of ground cumin or to taste
  • pinch of  hot smoked paprika or to taste
  • 10 dried saffron threads
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar


  • 1½ cups of Sofrito* (see above)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ cups medium-grain Spanish white rice (do not use instant rice)
  • 2 cups fish stock (seasoned with saffron if making fish stock from scratch)
  • 1 cod fillet (approx. 4 oz)
  • 1 cooked chicken thigh (cut in half)
  • 2 mussels
  • 2 clams
  • 3 slices chorizo (Spanish style sausage)
  • 3 slices butifarras or salt & pepper sausage
  • 3 oz squid (calamari), sliced thin
  • 3 oz scallops
  • 3 oz small shrimp
  • 3 large shrimp (21/25 or 16/20)
  • 1 roasted piquillo pepper, sliced thin (or red pepper)
  • 6 artichoke hearts, quartered (canned artichoke hearts will work)
  • ¼ cup green peas (frozen will work)


Make the Sofrito

  1. Heat a large sauté pan and bring olive oil to smoke point
  2. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to hot oil and sauté for 5 minutes
  3. Add the red and green bell peppers and continue to sauté for 5 minutes
  4. Add the dried parsley, oregano, thyme, and bay leaves and continue to sauté until the onions are translucent and begin to caramelize
  5. Add white wine to sauté pan, deglaze, and cook for additional 3 minutes to cook off alcohol
  6. Add vegetable stock, saffron stigmas, and granulated sugar and lower heat to medium
  7. Simmer sofrito until most of the liquid has reduced and cooked off
  8. Season with cumin and hot smoked paprika
  9. This sofrito is the base to the paella

Prepare the Paella

  1. Take paella pan or pie pan and rub with olive oil on base and all sides
  2. Mix rice with 1 cup of sofrito and set aside
  3. Put remaining ½ cup of sofrito into the base of the paella pan.  Top with rice mixture/sofrito and spread evenly in pan. Arrange the mussels, clams, chorizo, chicken thigh and butifarras around the outside of the paella pan, place the codfish fillet in the center of the paella pan
  4. Put paella pan directly on high heat, cover and bring to a rolling boil for about 6-7 minutes. Keep covered and lower heat to medium-high for about 13 minutes. Add more fish stock as needed to keep rice covered with liquid
  5. Remove top and add the remaining ingredients (scallops, little shrimp, squid, and large shrimp). Lower heat to medium, cover, and continue to cook for 7 minutes. The rice should be getting tender by this point and you should have added all stock
  6. Add the artichokes and peas and piquillo pepper, cover and cook 2 minutes more
  7. Remove cover, and raise the heat back to high and cook off remaining liquid.
    It is important not to shake or move around the rice while cooking because you will disturb the “socarrot”. (socarrot is the thick, creamy, crispy rice on the base of the pan that forms while cooking) The last 2 minutes of cooking is when the socarrot finishes its final form