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Barcelona Paella Recipe

Destination of Focus: Barcelona

The dynamic nature of Barcelona’s restaurant scene mirrors the energy and identity of the city itself. Just as residents celebrate the eclectic mix of past and present architecturally, so too do they embrace the combination of cutting edge cuisine and traditional fare that exists in its dining culture. After indulging in the classic flavors of Catalan cooking, you will find yourself craving the tastes once you return home.

To satisfy this longing for Barcelona’s food, our menu focuses on tapas—small plates with big flavors—that you and friends can savor over wine as the weather heats up and days get longer. Here is a take on paella to try at home:

Paella recipe

Although paella is known the world over as a national Spanish dish, it actually belongs to Valencia, a region on the east coast of Spain. Traditionally cooked outside on open fires, Valencians take great pride in their paella, to which they add various meats, shellfish and vegetables. Our version is seafood-centric, but we couldn’t resist including some chorizo for an extra punch of flavor.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ tablespoon saffron
½ pound chorizo, sliced thin
1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped
3 cups Spanish paella rice or short grain Italian rice
½ cup dry white wine
10 cups fish or shrimp stock
15 extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound monkfish or cod, cleaned and bones removed, cut into 6 pieces
12 clams
12 mussels
1 cup green peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Kosher salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste


Add oil to a large, heavy sauté or paella pan on medium heat. When oil is simmering, add onion and 1 teaspoon of salt. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Then, add saffron, paprika, garlic and chorizo, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes. Add plum tomatoes and sauté for an additional 2 minutes, until most of liquid has been released from the tomatoes and absorbed. Following that, add the rice and mix ingredients well. Then add the wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add fish stock, and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. (The rice should be swimming in several cups of liquid. If it starts to get dry, add more stock as needed and bring back to a strong simmer).

Season monkish and shrimp with salt and pepper. Add peas, shrimp, and monkfish to the pan, taking care to arrange pieces of fish so that they are half submerged in liquid. Add clams, then mussels, and cover the pan tightly with foil. Cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked through and shells are open. Do not overcook fish. Remove any clams or mussels that have not opened and discard. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Serve immediately.

If you liked our paella recipe, check these out:

Albondigas recipe

Patatas bravas with smoked paprika aioli recipe

Pa amb tomàquet recipe

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