Paella is a rice dish originally from Valencia in the west of Spain. While it is commonly viewed by non-Spaniards as Spain’s national dish, Spaniards almost unanimously consider it to be a dish from the Valencian region. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
500g portabellini or button mushrooms, quartered
1 large onion, very finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1-2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced (seeds removed if desired)
4 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1½ cups short-grain rice (such as Bomba or Arborio)
1 cup dry white wine
6 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
1kg fresh mussels, cleaned
Fresh micro herbs for serving
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges for serving
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large paella pan, frying pan or wok.
Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown and their water has evaporated.
Add onion and soften for 5 mins.
Add bell pepper, chilli, garlic, turmeric and paprika.
Cook until fragrant.
Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, until rice is translucent.
Add wine and cook until completely evaporated.
Add stock – the liquid should just cover the rice.
Cook, without stirring, adding more stock if needed to keep rice moist while cooking, until rice is al dente and all liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. (Shake pan after adding more stock to distribute evenly.)
Just before the rice is fully cooked, add the mussels, ensuring that most of them are covered by the rice and cover with a lid.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the mussels open.
Discard any that do not open.
Taste for seasoning and then scatter with fresh micro herbs.
Serve in the pan to keep warm alongside fresh lemon wedges.
The variability of ingredients from land and sea used for this dish means that this paella has exciting wine pairing options. The complexity of flavours in this paella can handle this assertive red blend with its succulent fruitiness, fresh acidity and a dry finish. The Ataraxia Serenity has intriguing minerality, spicy notes and a touch of smokiness which plays beautifully with the smoky notes of the Spanish paprika running through the dish.