After last week’s epic Live Below the Line challenge, I have been enjoying eating milk, cheese and eggs again, but have tried to refrain from massively pigging out. However, I have particularly been looking forward to cooking something proper, so here’s what I came up with. There are a few omissions of ingredients I would have liked to add, such as onions and perhaps peas instead of spinach but that’s just because we didn’t have them in the house and I couldn’t be bothered going to the shop when we already clearly have such an abundance of food. 
Many of the key ingredients such as the rice, paprika and saffron came back with us from our recent holiday in Spain. I like bringing back ingredients that are hard to obtain/expensive over here – unfortunately all the chorizo is long gone or I would have whacked some of that in. Everything is easily obtainable though, except for perhaps the colourant, what the sneaky Spanish use to get that vivid colour (if you just use saffron the colour will be nowhere near this bright). I suppose you could use a dash of tumeric for the same effect, just don’t throw in a load so it affects the taste.
Paella (Serves 4, or possibly 6)
250g paella rice
5 tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of mushrooms, chopped
1 large courgette, chopped
2 big handfuls of spinach out of the garden or whatever green leaves you have to hand, chopped
3 large cloves garlic
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp colourant
small pinch saffron
chicken/vegetable stock cube
squeeze of lemon juice
Pint or more of water
Whatever seafood you have to hand – I used half a pack each of mussels and prawns.
Dash of olive oil


  • Heat up a slug of olive oil in the pan.
  • Gently fry the garlic, onions if you have them, courgette and mushrooms.
  • Add your spices, then stir through the rice until coated.
  • Add enough water to cover the rice by a couple of mls.
  • Add your chopped tomatoes.
  • Simmer for about 20 minutes until the rice is cooked.
  • Check the rice doesn’t stick and burn on the bottom. Add more water if necessary.
  • When the rice is pretty much cooked, add your seafood and spinach (or peas).
  • Allow to cook through gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice and salt to taste, serve with freshly ground black pepper.
Eat. We found it to be really filling, so I only managed to get through about half of this portion!


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

0 thoughts on “Paella

  • this looks so good I love paella and this looks delicious even in the early stages thank you for sharing 🙂


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