How to make a homemade paella to die for?

What is paella?

A Spanish dish, traditionally cooked over a wood fire, composed of rice + condiments (onion, garlic, tomato) + spices (saffron, pimiento) + stock + vegetables + fish, meat… It is prepared in a sort of flat pan for two people. handles made of sheet iron which acquires a patina over time.

The 6 essential ingredients of paella


Bomba, a round Spanish rice known for its absorption qualities, or rice for risotto (arborio or carnaroli). We provide 100g (unwashed) per guest.

The smell

Always hot and fragrant! The principle is simple: water + vegetables, fish or meat + condiments. When boiling, remove impurities with a skimmer. Allow 25 minutes of cooking time for fish and seafood, 1 to 3 hours for meats. Filter.

Olive oil

Ideally, flavored with garlic. Place 200g of peeled, degermed and halved garlic cloves with 1l of olive oil in an opaque airtight jar. Leave to macerate for two months in a cool place.

The sofrito

The basic mixture (olive oil, garlic, onion and tomato) in which we will pearl the rice. Brown 2 sliced ​​onions in 20 cl of olive oil. Add 4 cloves of chopped garlic + 800g of very ripe seeded and grated tomatoes. Cook for 50 minutes, season with salt, pepper and sugar. Pass through a potato masher and keep cool.


In filaments, it is put in the oven for 30 seconds at 150°C/th. 5, we pound it and dilute it in a little stock. Otherwise, we choose it in powder form. Allow 0.1g per person.

The lemon

In the form of yellow or green zest, grated into paella.

3 original paellas

With lobster : tomato paella + lobster (or lobster) + diced fresh fennel + small squid (2 cm) cleaned.

To mushrooms : white paella (without tomato base) + wild mushrooms (porcini mushrooms, chanterelles, oyster mushrooms, etc.) + cardamom and coriander seeds + chervil.

With champagne : rice with champagne and fish stock + sole + fresh beans + white asparagus + tarragon.

3 sweet ideas

With green tea and red beans : rice cooked with flavored water (green tea + spices) and milk with matcha tea + red beans.

With mango and coconut : rice cooked in coconut milk + milk flavored with mint, lemon balm, verbena and lemongrass + diced mango + passion fruit + raspberries.

With rosemary and strawberries : rice cooked in fragrant milk (vanilla + black pepper + rosemary + cinnamon + citrus zest) + fresh almonds + strawberries.

How to cook paella perfectly?

After years of testing, here is Alberto’s recipe for 2 people.

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/th. 5. Brown a little sweet pepper in a pan with 5 cl of olive oil + 200 g of sofrito. Add the basic ingredients (fish, vegetables, meat) and cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
2. Add 200 g of rice, gently fry it.
3. Moisten with 50 cl of very hot stock + crushed saffron. Set a timer for 19 minutes.
4. After 5 minutes of cooking over high heat, reduce the heat to half. 1 or 2 minutes later, place the paella in the oven for 12 minutes.
5. Leave to rest for 3 minutes out of the oven before serving. We eat the rice straight from the dish with wooden spoons.

“Paella” by Alberto Herraiz, ed. Phaidon

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