Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 45 mins
1 medium yellow onion
6 garlic cloves
2 to 3 Roma or plum tomatoes (1 ½ cups finely chopped)
¼ cup olive oil, divided
1/2-pound shrimp, peeled and deveined*
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large pinch of saffron
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
3 cups seafood stock or vegetable stock
1 ½ cups short grain Bamba rice or arborio rice
¼ cup frozen peas, thawed underwater
½ cup artichoke hearts, quartered
1 to 2 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
Lemon wedges from ½ lemon
Chopped parsley for garnish
1. Mince the onion and set aside. Cut the garlic cloves into small pieces. Remove the cores and slice the tomatoes finely, reserving the seeds and fluids.
2. Take the necessary precautions with the ingredients: Make sure you have the remaining ingredients measured out before you begin. The pace of cooking is lightning-quick!
3. While the shrimp are cooking, after the shrimp has been dried, put them in a bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. One tablespoon of olive oil should be heated over medium heat in your biggest skillet or a paella pan that can accommodate four people. Just before the shrimp becomes opaque, add them to the pan and cook for 1–2 minutes per side. Get rid of the shrimp and put it away.
4. To prepare the paella, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. The onion and garlic should be sautéed for 3 minutes while being stirred often until they become transparent. Then, after approximately 5 minutes, add the chopped tomatoes, the remaining 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, and the red pepper flakes, and simmer until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid has gone. Incorporate the stock, saffron, and 1 1/4 teaspoons of kosher salt by stirring. The rice should be scattered uniformly throughout the soup, and then the pan should be tapped with a spoon to distribute the rice. Bring to a boil and cook undisturbed for 18–22 minutes, until all liquid has been absorbed (adjust the cooking time as necessary if using a skillet).
5. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to use more than one burner on your cooktop to maintain a consistent medium simmer. For an even cook, turn the pan every few minutes.
6. When the rice is almost done cooking (approximately 10 minutes in), push the artichokes and peas lightly into the rice and sprinkle with the roasted red pepper. Strips of red pepper should be sprinkled on top.
7. You can tell if the paella is ready by testing it: Keep a close eye on the paella in the last minutes and flip the pan more regularly. Towards the end of cooking, the paella will release less steam as the water evaporates. For a sneak peek at the bottom of the pan, you may use a knife to scrape back the rice, but there shouldn’t be any water left in the pan. The bubbling will gradually give way to a crackling sound. A crust is beginning to develop. Continue to let the crackling continue for another two minutes before taking it off the heat. The scent of smoke or fire means you should get out of there fast.
8. When the paella is ready, sprinkle the prawns on top and squeeze the lemon wedges over the dish. If using, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and sprinkle in little chopped parsley. Additional lemon wedges are served.