Paella Valenciana

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 55m

Serves 4-6


  • For Fish and Shellfish:
  • 2 pounds fish heads and trimmings
  • 12 large uncooked shrimp in the shell (or 6 shrimp and 6 small crayfish tails)
  • 12 small fresh mussels, soaked and scrubbed
  • 12 fresh clams
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 12 sea scallops
  • 8 ounces white fish fillets (perch, sea bass, cod, etc.), cubed
  • 8 cups water
  • For Rice:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 cups short-grain white or round-grain Italian rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Large pinch of saffron threads


FOR FISH AND SHELLFISH: Place the fish heads and trimmings in a deep saucepan and add the water, shrimp, mussels and clams. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Use a slotted spoon to remove the mussels and clams as soon as their shells open. Remove the top shell of each, if you like, and set aside, covered, to prevent them from drying out. When the shrimp are almost cooked, remove and peel. Return the shells to the saucepan; cover the shrimp to prevent them from drying out.

Add two of the chopped tomatoes to the stock and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the scallops and cubed fish and cook briefly, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the shrimp. Simmer the stock a further 10 minutes, then strain into a pitcher.

FOR RICE: Saute the remaining tomato, the onion and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. In a paella or other suitable wide, shallow pan, stir the rice into the remaining oil for 2 minutes. Add 3 cups stock and cook on moderate heat for 5-6 minutes. Add the wine and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the sauteed tomato and onion.

Add the remaining stock a little at a time, allowing it to be absorbed before adding more. In total between 5 and 6 cups (1-1/4 quarts) of stock will be needed.

When the rice is almost done, add the seafood, pressing it into the rice. Mix the saffron with a little hot stock and pour over the rice, adding salt and pepper to taste. Cook on moderate heat, taking care that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

When done, the rice will be just tender and bright yellow and the seafood cooked but still moist and tender. Serve with wedges of lemon.

NOTE: The stock can be made in advance and refrigerated. Paella should not be cooked until ready to serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 5664

nutrition information per serving

671 calories; 14g total fat; 97mg cholesterol; 206mg sodium; 87g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 39g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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