Seafood Paella

Serves 6 to 8 people

2 Spanish onions, chopped

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 pound fresh squid, sliced

1 pound cuttlefish, cut into pieces

1 pound lobster tail meat, cut into pieces

Salt, to taste

3 cups chicken stock

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups Arborio rice

2 dozen fresh mussels

2 to 3 dozen fresh clams

1 tablespoon saffron

1. In a large paella pan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the squid, cuttlefish, lobster, and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, for a minute or so more.

2. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock and wine to a boil. As it boils, add the rice to the fish mixture in the paella pan and blend thoroughly. Ladle three-fourths of the boiling stock over the rice and bring to a boil. Season the rice with more salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low and mix well, distributing rice evenly in the paella pan. Continue to cook the rice for 18 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While the rice is cooking, heat about 1 inch of water and a drizzle of olive oil in a separate sauté pan, then add the mussels. Steam until the mussels open, then transfer to the paella pan with a slotted spoon. Steam and transfer the clams in the same way. Take 1 cup of the clam water and whisk together with the saffron in a small bowl. Add to the paella pan, and simmer the mixture for 5 minutes more. Serve the paella directly from the paella pan.

Elisa Costantini, “Italian Moms: Something Old, Something New”