Chef Joan Casas’ Paella recipe has the kind of unique twists and turns that can only come from someone who has made thousands of paellas over the years. For this paella, he uses Calasparra rice and a sofrito of chopped onion, garlic, and tomatoes to deliver deep rich flavors. This unconventional combination of meats, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and rice, nuanced by the subtle taste of saffron, creates a dish of wonderful complexity, with diverse flavors and textures. Don't be surprised when your guests want second helpings! When making this paella, we recommend you follow his advice to not hurry too much, especially when you’re making the sofrito, and to have a glass or two of wine. It also helps if you follow the traditional rule for paella to “first, cook the animal that walks, then add the animal that flies, and then add the animal that swims.” You can read more tips in A Spanish Chef’s Secrets for a Perfect Paella.
In a large paella pan, cook the shrimp and sea bass until they are just done. Remove and set aside.
Make a sofrito from the onions, tomatoes, and garlic, allowing it to cook for a while to deepen its flavor.
Add the rice and olive oil, making sure the rice is well coated with oil. Add the stock and saffron and bring everything to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let the rice cook without stirring. This helps the rice form a soccrat, which is when it caramelizes on the bottom of the pan.
As the rice starts to absorb the liquid add the rabbit, pork, chicken, and sausage based on the amount of time they will take to cook.
Then add the red and green peppers, sweet peas, and green beans.
When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid add the mussels and clams.
Add the cooked seafood back to the paella before serving.