Shellfish Paella




1/3 cup olive oil

2 pounds red onions, minced

2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded



Large garlic cloves, chopped

2 tablespoons parsley

1/2 teaspoons saffron threads

3/4 teaspoon salt to taste

3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper to taste


Rice and Shellfish

8 small clams or mussels (or both)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pound squid

1 1/2 cup short grained rice

4 cups fish stock

1/2 pound large scallops



To Prepare the Sofrito

Heat oil in the paella pan. Add onions and sauté slowly over low heat, stirring from time to time, until onions are brown and almost caramelized. This will take 45 minutes to 1 hour (add small amounts of water if necessary so onions don't burn) Add tomatoes and increase heat to medium; cook until dry. Set aside.

To Prepare the Picada

In a food processor, finely grind all Picada ingredients. Set aside. 

To Prepare the Rice and Clams

  1. In a large pot, bring about 1/2 cup water to a boil. Steam the clams and mussels on a rack over boiling water until they open (4 or 5 minutes for mussels and 5 to10 minutes for clams). Set them aside, discarding any that do not open. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer. Reserve.
  2. To cook the rice and shellfish, preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat oil; add squid rings and tentacles. Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring. Add sautéed squid and their juices to casserole or skillet with Sofrito. Stir in rice and Picada.
  4. Measure reserved broth and add enough fish stock to equal 4 1/2 cups. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  5. Add to casserole or skillet and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, gently moving rice around so it cooks evenly throughout. Add prawns and scallops, pushing them down into rice so they are covered with broth.
  6. Transfer casserole or skillet to 350°F oven and cook another 10 minutes or until rice is slightly underdone.
  7. Remove casserole from oven and arrange mussels and clams on top. Cover with a cloth and let dish sit for 10 minutes. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon wedges.