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Paella a la Valenciana de Luz de Alice

(by Alice Lowe)


I modified the original recipe in subsequent makings, then veered further afield when Luz, my dental hygienist, gave me hers, which I’ve also modified. I make it with shellfish and sausage, but you can use chicken in addition or instead, or make it vegetarian. None of the measurements are precise except the two-to-one liquid to rice—I change it up every time I make it.


1/2 lb. mussels

1/2 lb. clams

2 T. olive oil

1 small chopped onion

1/2 bell pepper, diced

3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 lb. spicy sausage (lingüiça, chorizo, andouille), sliced

2 c. Arborio rice

1/2 c. white wine

salt and pepper, to taste

1 c. fish, chicken, or vegetable broth

1/4 t. saffron

1/2 lb. calamari, cleaned

1/2 lb. shrimp (shells on or off, optional)

1/2 c. fresh or frozen peas

7 - 8 oz. canned artichoke hearts

1 large fresh tomato, chopped or 7- 8 oz. canned tomatoes

1/2 c. Manzanilla olives (and a little of the olive brine)

smoked Spanish paprika, to taste

Tabasco sauce, to taste

lemon wedges

chopped parsley


Bring a pot of salted water to boil, add mussels and clams, cover and steam until open (about 4 or 5 minutes).

Set aside and reserve water.

In a large pan, heat olive oil.

Sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until lightly browned.

Add sausage and cook until browned.

Add rice and stir until lightly browned.

Stir in wine, salt, and pepper.

Add broth plus 3 c. reserved cooking water.

Add saffron.

Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add calamari, shrimp, peas, artichokes, tomatoes, olives, and brine.

Continue to simmer until rice is tender.

Add steamed clams and mussels, reserving a few for garnish.

Add Tabasco, to taste.

Sprinkle with paprika, and garnish with lemon wedges and parsley.


(Read Messing With Tradition, the story that accompanies this recipe.)

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