Paella- Spain’s one “pot” dish. While in Spain I got to enjoy some delicious authentic paellas. I always kind of thought paella had to include seafood, chicken, pork, and chorizo in the ingredient list. It was not until I got back stateside and received the cookbook “Paella!” Spectacular Rice Dishes from Spain by Penelope Casas that I started exploring the many variations of paella. I have literally been eating my way through the book “Paella!” with all the twists and turns on paella from traditional to vegetarian. Yes, Vegetable Paella is perfect for our family Meatless Monday.
Another preconceived idea I had regarding paella, was that it’s time consuming to make, wrong. It is easy, fast and oh so showy when you bring the big paella pan to the table. And ahhh…the amazing aromas that fill the house especially if you use (and I do highly recommend) authentic Spanish smoked paprika. Paella combines layers of flavors kind of like risotto, minus all the stirring.
Enjoy with your favorite Spanish wine like a Rioja. Cheers!
Cuisine: Main Dishes
- 3/4 cup canned northern white beans drained and rinsed
- 5- 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 teaspoon crumbled threads of saffron
- 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tablespoons of toasted pinenuts
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 small white onion finely chopped
- 1 large red pepper finely chopped
- 2 medium tomatoes chopped (fresh or good quality canned)
- 2 tablespoons parsley minced
- 1/2 lb. baby spinach leaves washed, dried and roughly chopped
- 4 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3 cups Arborio short grained rice
Preheat oven to 400 F
In a medium sauce pan combine vegetable or chicken broth, white wine and saffron. Heat over medium low heat and keep warm.
Use a paella pan 17-18 inches wide or a similar shallow pan. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, onions, and red pepper, saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add toasted pinenuts, tomatoes, parsley and spinach, saute 3-4 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Add the paprika, thyme, cumin, and oregano, stir to combine.
Add the rice, stirring to evenly coat every rice grain with the mixture.
Pour the hot broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the white beans and salt and pepper if needed. Continue to boil and stir until the rice mixture is no longer soupy, however, it still should have enough liquid to finish cooking in the oven, about 5 minutes.
Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil for 5-10 minutes.