Paella, like black rice, has its origins in the Mediterranean. There is of course the traditional Valencian paella that needs to be cooked with very specific ingredients – this is a recipe that admits few variations. When put together with the word ‘paella’, the adjective ‘Valencian’ is usually a source of endless discussions.
We’re going to cook a paella, but it won’t be a traditional Valencian one. Ours is a paella specially designed to pair with a Cava Gran Reserva (aged for more than 30 months), so we’ve chosen ingredients that will give a better mouthfeel.
Now all that remains is to serve, and to enjoy with a good cava to enhance the flavours of all those wonderful ingredients that make paella such a temptingly delicious dish. And don’t forget that this recipe combines best with a Cava Gran Reserva (aged for more than 30 months).
Rice: we suggest Bomba rice, but you could also use other varieties. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time, and also the amount of stock you use, depending on which variety you choose.
Sénia or Bahía rice need 2.5 parts stock to one-part rice, whereas round grain rice needs 3 or 3.5 parts stock to one-part rice. Cooking time will vary too, so you’ll need to check frequently to check to see when it’s cooked.
Stock: we advise using home-made stock, but if you don’t have any to hand, the dish can be prepared using a commercial brand available from the supermarket.
Rest your rice: if you see that the grains are still a bit hard when you take the pan off the heat, while it’s resting cover your rice with a clean, damp (not wet) cloth. The warmth and humidity will soften the grains.