Now this is something handy to make for Halloween, especially if you’re having people over – partly because of its peculiar colour, partly since it’s fun to cook and involves wine.
It’s a regional variation of the Valencian and Catalonian seafood paella – you dye it pitch black with squid ink. The Spanish eat it with mayo, but you don’t have to.
For the seafood: use either two small packets of store-bought ready mixes or about 60g each of raw squid, octopus, tiger prawns and clams
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
3 small peppers – red, yellow and green
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large tomato
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sweet dried pepper
125 ml dryish white wine
170g paella rice, like arborio, calasparra or carnaroli
1l vegetable stock
Saffron, a pinch
Two 4g packets of squid ink
Chopped fresh chives, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, lemon wedges
Preparation time: 40 mins
Prepare your stock by bringing it to a boil, adding a pinch of saffron and letting it simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir in the squid ink and keep warm on the back burner.
Prepare your seafood. Scrub the clam shells with a coarse brush and remove the beards. Peel, decapitate and de-vein the prawns.
Prepare the vegetables: finely dice the peppers and the tomato. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Tip in the pepper and sauté, stirring every once in a while, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato, season with salt and fry for a further 2 minutes.
Add the tomato paste, sweet and smoked paprika. Pour in the wine, stir together and bring to the boil. Let it simmer over strong heat for about 3 minutes, until the liquid reduces by half.
Tip in the rice. Slowly stirring, fry for 2 minutes. Pour in the black stock, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook over moderate heat for 8 minutes. At this point you mustn’t stir – you don’t want the rice to turn sticky – so just let your paella simmer by itself.
Arrange your prepared seafood on top of the paella, reduce the heat to an absolute minimum (remember not to stir). Cover with aluminium foil and leave for the seafood to steam for 6 minutes.
Take the paella off the heat and let it rest, covered, for a further 2-3 minutes. After that time, uncover, garnish with chives and chopped parsley mixed with olive oil and minced garlic. Serve with lemon wedges.