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Aunt Judy's Valencia Paella Recipe

How to prepare an authentic paella from Valencia
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Spanish
Servings: 4 people


  • ½ pound mussels
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 Italian sweet pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans cans dice tomatoes drained well
  • ½ pound artichoke hearts peeled and quartered
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • Cuttlefish ink optional
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 6 cups seafood stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound shrimp peeled or not peeled, up to you
  • ½ pound squid cleaned and cut into tight rings


  • Prep all the ingredients including the pepper, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and seafood stock. You want the seafood broth hot before adding to the rice so heat it up in a separate pan just before adding.
  • Heat the oil in the paella pan over medium heat until hot. Add the onion and cook for a minute or two.
  • Add the pepper slices and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and continue cooking for 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Add the artichoke hearts, cover the pan and cook for another 3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir all the ingredients to evenly cover the rice with the oil and vegetables.
  • Add the pinch of saffron and stir once more.
  • Add the seafood stock, stir and let it cook on medium low to a simmer. If too hot, reduce the heat. If not hot enough, add some more. Cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  • While the rice is cooking, give it just one or two more stirs and re-position the pan on the stove top occasionally so it doesn't get too hot on any one part of the pan.
  • The rice is done when it is "dry throughout and has formed a nice brown crust on the bottom" of the pan.
  • While the rice is cooking, steam the mussels in another pan so they are ready to add to the dish at the end.
  • When the rice is done cooking and all the mussel shells have popped open, add the shrimp to the pan cover and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the squid, cover and cook for no longer than 1 and ½ minutes.
  • Return the mussels to the pan and serve with aioli.
  • Add the rest of the seafood to the top of the rice, cover and cook (steam) until the squid and shrimp are just tender, about 1½ minutes.


Aunt Judy had some cuttlefish ink that she said you can purchase at Amazon. You don't need it, but it does give the rice a rich, dark color.