Recipe: Calamari Paella


The aroma of a paella cooking is a seductive scent – spicy and savoury with the unique pungency of saffron. The smell is impossible to resist however many paella recipes are complicated, long and, depending on the recipe you’re following, can get quite evangelical about the need (or lack thereof) to stir the paella. You see, not stirring the paella once the rice has been added gives it an almost burnt crust on the bottom – it’s considered a delicacy.

I’m a rebel – I stir. I’m too scared of burning dinner and ruining my beloved Scanpan. And honestly – it doesn’t matter. If you’re brave then don’t stir. If you’re not into the intensity of those charred pieces (or are afraid of burning down your kitchen) then by all means, grab a spoon and have a stir.


Calamari Paella

{Serves 2-3}


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 chorizo, diced or sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/8 tspn paprika
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup white rice
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 2 tubes of calamari, sliced (if you hate calamari then raw peeled prawns also work)
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat.
  2. Cook the onion and chorizo in the pan for 5 minutes or until the chorizo is beginning to colour.
  3. Add the capsicum and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the paprika and tomato.
  5. Season well with black pepper and stir the mixture well.
  6. When it starts to look a bit sticky add in the white wine and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the rice, stock and saffron.
  8. Stir well and turn the heat down to low and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  9. If you’re brave then resist the urge to stir!
  10. Place the calamari rings on top of the rice.
  11. Cover the pan and leave to cook for 5 minutes.
  12. Turn the calamari rings, sprinkle over the frozen peas then pop the lid back on and cook for another 5 minutes.
  13. By now, all the stock should’ve been absorbed into the rice – if not then simmer for a little while with the lid off.
  14. Sprinkle the parsley over the paella and serve while hot.