Note for the cook: I do highly recommend using a paella pan if you have one, but you can also use a cast iron skillet. The more you make paella, the easier it will be to make! For the spicy Italian sausage, make sure it's been removed from the casing.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time55 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
For the paella:
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil split + more if needed
- 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves minced or finely chopped
- 1 28 oz. can or jarred tomato sauce + more if needed
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 2 to 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- One pinch of saffron threads
- 4 cleaned small squid sliced or chopped
- 2 cups medium-grain Spanish paella rice or risotto rice
- 3 cups chicken stock plus 1 to 2 cups more if needed*
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage chopped, or broken up into pieces
- 1 12 oz. package fresh Wild White Shrimp
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes; cut in half crosswise
- fresh parsley finely diced for garnish
For the mussels:
- 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 to 2 shallots minced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic minced
- ½ pound mussels scrubbed and de-bearded (about 12)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or ½ cup water
For the paella:
Using your cast iron skillet or paella pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and sauté until softened, for about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and continue to sauté until fragrant, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add in the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and add in the smoked paprika and the saffron threads, mixing well, and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the squid and cook, stirring, for a minute or so and then, add in the rice and stir well until all the grains are coated with the tomato sauce mixture and the rice is evenly distributed around the skillet or pan.
Using a separate small saucepan, bring the chicken stock and wine to a boil and then pour evenly over the rice. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil, and season with salt.
Turn the heat down to low and let the rice simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. If it looks like you need more liquid to help your rice cook, you can add just a little more tomato sauce (1/4 cup to a 1/2 cup depending on how much you need) and more chicken stock* to the rice, half way through cooking. If you do this, pour evenly over the rice and then make sure the rice is still evenly distributed over the skillet.
Add in the sausage, either chopped, or broken up into pieces and evenly distribute all over the rice and stir and cook until the sausage is cooked and browned completely. As your paella is cooking, remember to keep mixing around the pan so it doesn't stick to the bottom as much. A little sticking is ok (and some people even like the really cooked bits stuck to the bottom) but you just don't want it to burn.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the mussels.
For the mussels:
Using a large sized saucepan or small pot, warm the butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, waiting until the butter has melted. Add in the minced shallots and garlic and sauté until the shallots are translucent and the garlic is fragrant, for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the mussels into the saucepan and pour in the chicken stock and wine or water. Immediately cover the pan with the lid for about 5 minutes. After about 5 to 6 minutes, lift the lid and check the mussels. Nearly all of the mussels should be open by now. If not, cover and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. You can mix the mussels around in the saucepan to get the sauce nicely distributed over them. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened after this time. Do not consume any mussels that have not opened.
Once the rice is cooked, arrange the shrimp and tomatoes evenly over the rice and let cook. After the shrimp start to turn pink, flip them over and cook the other side. You want to cook the shrimp until they are just pink. Do not overcook.
Arrange the open mussels on top of the seafood paella, drizzle the remaining tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the paella, garnish the parsley and serve immediately. Enjoy!